Last night was my third evening home after 30 nights of solitude spent in a bed far far away. A month was long enough for me to form an intimate relationship with nocturnal privacy, where my thoughts were free to roam naked down the carpeted halls of my mind, bumping into only myself on the way to the bathroom. “Excuse me. Oh! It’s just me.”
It was a luxurious fling. A sprawling self-indulgence of fluffed pillows, and scrolling paragraphs — the creamy night light lulling my lids, my hands releasing my darling tome beside me, his pages butterfly-breathing beneath the ceiling fan, sharing my bed and my dreams.
This is where the needle scratches across the record because I’ve returned home to the city, where solitude is but a smoky memory, having been replaced with suspicious night riders thumping past my windows, their base set to 10, vibrating my crib and my nerves. Really? Is it necessary to massage the entire neighborhood with your music?
My husband Mike, sweet and hushed, snoozes on the left coast, while our two small dogs swim between us like escapees from Alcatraz looking for land, thrashing about and licking themselves, making the most disgusting mouth sounds—and beautiful Bella, our sleek Siamese, perching on my chest to steal a sip from my water glass. Her padded little paws feeling like steel fingers driving through me. Ouch! I should kick them all out of my bed. I don’t know how they got to be so spoiled.
And one mustn’t forget our firstborn, ending his graveyard shift by burglarizing our refrigerator, setting our two-Chihuahua alarm off, jarring me from my slumber, while hubby, conditioned to the sounds of sonny’s pre-dawn home invasions, snores peacefully beside me, the same way he did when our babies woke up in the middle of the night all cranky and foul-smelling, wailing into my clean nighty — wiping their mucousy little noses all over me. Curse these mommy ears, trained like sonar to detect the slightest of sounds! Will they ever let me rest? Will I ever be that person who can sleep through a normal night without having to resort to sound machines and sheep counting?
The morning arrives on time — benign and balanced, reminding me that I have an open invitation to clear away my bed-head blues and begin anew. I smile up at the ceiling, because I’m home and I get to go for a morning walk, listen to the birds…and drink coffee, leaving behind the exaggerated frustrations of the sleep deprived.
Sleep is messy. No! Being human is messy. Hell, it’s all messy! Good thing I’m resilient;)