When we lived in South Carolina, Tyler’s job frequently took him away from home overnight, often for the whole week or weeks in a row broken by short weekend visits home. When this husband-stealing shenanigan disguised as a job first started, I couldn’t sleep when he was gone. I’d lie awake in bed for hours, exhausted. It wasn’t because I was frightened of anything, it’s just hard to sleep in an empty bed now days.
See, we have a full size bed, and have for the entire four-year duration of our marriage, simply because that’s what was given to us, and we were too strapped for cash to buy a new one. So we’re not only used to sleeping in the same bed, but practically on top of one another. Seriously. There is no position in the bed where we are not somehow touching unless we both roll to the farthest edge with our hips hanging off and our arms stretched out in front of us. But who could possibly sleep that way? Also, I tend to roll off the bed when I’m in it alone. I never realized that Tyler acts as my human guard rail until he was gone, which was a painful, bruising way to discover that I’m a roller.
I had not had to face any of these horrors for a very long time. Until last week when Tyler stayed out until 6:30 am recording drum tracks for the Hingepoint worship team’s new album. He’s out again tonight, recording bass tracks. (Hopefully he won’t be out quite as late/early this week.) I don’t mind at all, really, I just can’t sleep. So I pray and read and journal and read some more and stalk friends who are probably asleep on Facebook. (And tonight I also visited a certain little man with whom I am currently infatuated. He has, by the way, added a new ridiculously cute habit to his repertoire: he squeaks while he drinks his bottle. I am dying over here, folks. Death by baby.) This little poem is what came out of all that restless reading and writing and stalking last week. I thought I’d share it with you tonight, as it is now 10:52pm, and I am on the cusp of my sleeplessness. I call it An Ode to Sleeping Alone...
Now that I have been married long
enough to be used to
it, I cannot sleep
anymore. There is still the
ghost of you upon
the sheets, the wraith of your arm curved around
my hips, drawing me into
your warmth, until I awaken, startled,
and cold, on the strange side
of the bed, on your odd,
lumpy pillow. Please come home
quickly. I am in want of
your real arm.