Two ambien, a bottle of wine and a hot shower and I was still lying in my bed looking at the ceiling. Listening to the rain, closing my eyes for minutes at a time hoping the sandman would find me and take me off to sleep land.
My phone was off and lying on the pillow next to me as if it was a she. I wasn’t expecting anyone to call but I’d learned something about myself over this last year of self-inflicted solitude; if the phone wasn’t off I’d spend hours just picking it up and looking at the same numbers, the same pictures, the same text. Reading the same statuses on FB or the same content on Twitter. Writing was always an option but my mind was tired, it needed rest from creating and thinking.
The best sleep of my life always came when there was a warm body next to me. Her face in the crook of my neck, a heartbeat pounding away next to my ribs or next to my heart. Naked thighs warming my legs and reminding me why God made women for men. The more I thought about it the more real the images became, her scent, her taste, that sexy half sleep, half drowsy moan that happens when I slip my hand under the covers and do my best to wake her up tenderly.
I hated those images, those memories.
I loved those images, those memories.
You have one unheard message, first unheard message sent today at 1:45am… “I know you’re awake, what I don’t know is why your phone is off. I guess you have company or don’t want to be bothered. I can’t sleep myself so I was just giving you a call. I miss you. Write something for me.”
I listened to the message several times before I sat the phone on the kitchen table and took a long gulp from a bottle of water. My liver needed a rest tonight from anything brown. Picking up the phone, scrolling to her picture I wanted nothing more but to call her and tell her I miss her to. But pride is a double edged sword; on one hand it can help you do things you never thought were possible just because someone you love or even you doubted yourself. On the other hand pride can make it hard to forgive even when not forgiving causes more sleepless nights than is humanly possible.
Sitting at my desk, I heard the gate opening and saw the headlights pulling into the driveway. Standing up, walking to the window I saw her car and against all my best efforts I smiled. Wanting to be mad at her just popping up, the loneliness was doing something to my mind; company no matter how damaged or volatile was welcome in the pre-dawn hours. I opened the door as she was closing the gate, sweats on, a t-shirt, rain boots and a bright pink rain coat. You would have thought she was on her way to second grade. “You look bright I said and wet,” she smiled and pushed me in the chest. “You wish I was wet and while you’re just standing there get me a towel.” We couldn’t stop smiling either though her standing here was a walking, living, breathing contradiction. I gave her the towel, sat her wet rain coat and boots by the door and hugged her as tight as was humanly possible.
“We can’t have sex tonight, you’ll fall in love all over again and I’ll let you. But I know we both hate sleeping alone so let’s come up with a compromise. You sit at your desk and write while I finish this book I brought.” She was leaning against the door, the towel around her neck. I kissed the forehead, it was impossible for me to fall in love with her all over again because I never fell out of love with her. “That sounds like a really good idea but on one condition.” What’s understood doesn’t have to be said, looking into her eyes, leaning down… Her lips still felt the same way I remembered, her tongue still sweet, her mouth still warm and wet. It should have been a soft kiss that lead to her reading and me writing but how do you tell your body and heart that something that feels so right is wrong. Picking her up, taking the book out of her hand and throwing it on the ottoman I carried her to my bedroom. I wouldn’t be sleeping alone tonight.