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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

30 Nights of Solitude

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;)

37 comments:

Brooke said...

How did I get so lucky as to have you grace my path. Somehow you just make me want to sink my teeth right into life! The sheep video was such a funny addition to your beautiful post. LMAO!

Cheryl said...

Leah, It's so interesting that people (maybe, more-so women) evolve into this period of life where there are so many commonalities between us. The patterns of our restless nights, the symbiosis between husbands and wives as they sleep, the ever present mommy ears that now listen for little pets as our grown children don't need us to listen for them anymore. (they can raid those fridges all on their own now)

You always create the most tangible images through your words. You are an artist.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Once again, your words weave their magic into my imagination, Leah. How I love your descriptions and honest take on life! So refreshing always!
Ironically, I'm alone in bed most of this week as Danny's out of town. Have to admit, I don't like him not being there, but the bed is sure easier to make up in the morning! Lol! He's a cover stealer.
Thanks for this wonderful reflection, my friend.
Love and blessings!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

I've got a permanent set of mommy ears, myself. Glad you're back home.

~Debbie

The Loerzels said...

Massaging the neighborhood and burglarizing our refrigerator. Your writing is so beautifully nimble. I'm glad you're back home surrounded by the ones you love. Even if they have dog breath...

Leah Griffith said...

Brooke, luck runs both ways my dear. And yes, the sheep video was a must. Much too good to pass by. I just might watch it tonight before bed. Perhaps it will help;)
Can't wait for our chat.
Love,
Leah

Leah Griffith said...

Cheryl, it is interesting how much we have in common. I do kinda treat my dogs like my babies. LOL! I used to make fun of old people for doing that and now I have joined their ranks. Oh well, it could be worse. I could own a monkey and a pig;)
Thank you for the lovely compliment Cheryl. It means so much coming from you, a fellow writer.

Stephen Hayes said...

I love the soothing reassuring way you write.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Martha. I prefer to sleep with Mike minus the dogs, but how do you tell them no after so many years. LOL! I'll get back into the swings of things after another 27 days;)

Leah Griffith said...

It's great to be back with the family/pack Debbie. I'm loving the warm weather although I miss all the fall colors. I wonder if men have Daddy noses or something. It just doesn't seem fair because mommy ears never do go away.

Leah Griffith said...

Marie, speaking of doggy breath how is your pair doing? Those are some lucky dogs. I bet the kids are already shirking their responsibilities of feeding and walking. Dog ownership is all so romantic isn't it. LOL!

Leah Griffith said...

Stephen, that's a beautiful compliment. Thank you!

JANU said...

I would love to have that solitude which you had....even if its for a day. I so want to be with myself totally immersed in myself. You have triggered my imagination...:-)

Pedro Garcia said...

I will always think of that "creamy night light" as I make way around the house late at night. That was great,thanks!

Debra said...

What a marked difference between solitude and that back-to-the-grind noise. I like the image of “where the needle scratches across the record” describing the abrupt shift of your return. And oh yeah, those bass speakers blasting down the street, we have those too, loud enough to jar the windows. But how precious are the little ones snug in your robe. I can hear them saying as you enter the door, “Mommy’s home!” Hugs!

PORTIA said...

Oh, what a 'word-picture'! It is almost lyrical!
-Portia

Julia said...

You're resilient and precious & I love you for all of it, Leah. Wrapping you in all the love I have. xo

Leah Griffith said...

Janu, you must find a way! Go...and enjoy;)

Leah Griffith said...

Pedro, you found me! So good to see you here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is good to be home;)

Leah Griffith said...

Debra, I have created two darling little monsters. They love me so much and I love them right back. I never would have dreamed that I would be a sucker for little dogs...but here I am. Thank you for your thoughtful words Debra. You are such a treasure.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Portia! It was fun to write. I don't know what I'd do without my words.

Leah Griffith said...

I'm feeling your love Julia! Your video post on Coming Back to Life, gave me a loving push in the right direction. I love how you lay things out, brick after brick, in such a simple way. I love you girl!

Jessica said...

I agree...life can be very messy! Loved this post...beautifully written! Nights of solitude are rare for me but when they come I savor every minute!

Healing Morning said...

"...like escapees from Alcatraz looking for land..." I fell out laughing on that snippet!! I am always so at home here, Leah, because so few others speak my language. I sojourn the billowing waves of half-light more often than I would prefer, searching for the perfect combination to allow the embrace of Morpheus. He tends to tease and be elusive at the moment, but anon, we shall dance together.

I find that pickles, ruby red grapefruit, judicious application of hugs...long, deep and silent ones that last for endless moments, and smiles from handsome men with dimples that squeeze my heart tend to smooth out the messy part of Life. Well, not really. Who am I trying to kid? Those things just bright the messy trail. I'd be pretty bored if it were straight, flat and uneventful.

I adore you, my darling one!

- Dawnie

Adriene said...

Ah, home sweet home! Messy and rich. Lovely, lovely post, Leah.

Leah Griffith said...

Yes Jessica, savor those moments, they are so fleeting....

Leah Griffith said...

Dawn, indeed we do speak the same language...and you're right, how flat and predictable life would be without its surprises and flirtations. I love you girl!

Leah Griffith said...

Adriene, no matter how hard I try I can't seem to rid my home of the messy. It comes in so many forms. Oh well, I may as well relax and focus on the rich;)

melissa said...

I think I need a good laugh...I was thinking too much when I read the title of your post LOL!

Wouldn't it be great to have those real nights of solitude?

Lots of love to you Leah ;) Do sleep well :*

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, we take life way too seriously. A good laugh has a way of clearing away the clouds. Sending love to you this Friday. May your weekend be full of joy and laughter!

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Jayne said...

How many sheep was that? LOL!! One cannot fall asleep reading you, Leah, that's for sure!

Dang those men--snoring peacefully beside their semi-somnambulant wives. Us walking the halls half asleep. That's if we actually fall asleep. I hear you, Leah. I have to say, I rather enjoyed your intimate-relationship-with-nocturnal-privacy fantasy. Truly--that might get me back to the erotica genre. Er, I mean "to" --as in "get me TO"! (Did I say "back"?) (Would it help me sleep?) ;)

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Ha Ha Ha! :))))) I loved it!

Tameka said...

What a poetic peek into your life. Please tell me the 30 days away was a writing retreat. It sounds lovely. Even though I live alone and have most nights to myself, I enjoyed reading about your times snuggled up in solitude and with your loving brood. Those sheep cracked me up at the end. Lol!

Leah Griffith said...

Tameka I was at my mother-in-laws helping her while she recovers from a serious illness. I did no real writing but I got to spend some real quality time with Ma Griffith. The sheep cracked me up too;)

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Half-heard. I appreciate your comment. :)))))

Leah Griffith said...

LOL! Jayne, up until this year I hadn't read erotica. With the popularity of 50 Shades I decided to read a novella. The writing was pretty good and so was the story. I still haven't read 50 Shades. I have no desire to. Although...I should read another erotica piece so I can compare the two;) LOL!!! I will make sure I'm not alone when I read it. It's scary. *grin

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