Thursday, September 29, 2011

Like we use to

My alarm clock glowed blue, spreading shadows of nightstand trinkets across the pillow I was just barely laying on.  Crisp fall air drifted through the open window and carried on its back songs from the crickets just beyond the black screen.  Paul laid behind me, arms around my shoulders, and his warmth moved through me like osmosis.  I breathed deeply and listened to the whistling in my nose as I savored this rare moment.

We just don't sleep together like we use to.

Paul gets home late these days.  Too late for me.  A click on the baby monitor signals to my weary bones that the front door has opened and if I'm not already in bed I end my game of solitaire and kneel to pray while I'm still alone.  He walks into the room, grey bag slung over his shoulder, looking worn out from the long day and late commute.  After a brief discussion about his adventures in Salt Lake City my dry eyes signal to me to sleep.  Kneeling across from each other, he calls on me to pray.  We then slip under the covers, read scriptures, and find our comfy places, back to back, in order to fall asleep quickly and maximize the five or six short sleepy hours before Paul must leave again.  No time for cuddles.

I slept very little the first few months of marriage.  It reminded me of band tours and summer trips with friends where I had to share a bed.  Laying awake, listening to sleeping inhales and exhales, I worried my movements would wake my partner.  My paranoia became insomnia and even a new husband couldn't cure my fears.  It took a couple weeks of sleep observation to discover just how deep of a sleeper Paul was, and as my anxiety subsided, a completely new problem arose.  I couldn't sleep while he touched me!  His cuddles, hugs, cold feet, sharp elbows all stirred my unconsciousness to consciousness.  I thought the couples in old televisions shows sleeping in separate beds might have had a brilliant idea.  But time brought about healing as I became desensitized to the pokes and prods and overcame the idea that married people must cuddle all night long.  ('Cause you don't, and we don't.)  But at least back then we had a little time in each others arms before I rolled away to sleep.  We don't even have time for that anymore.

I didn't realize how much I missed that time until last night.  I watched the clock for an hour as Paul dreamed behind me.  I wanted to be beside him for as long as my body would allow, but when midnight passed I decided it was time. . . I slithered out from under his arm, flipped my pillow to a colder side, and rolled onto my stomach.  The bed still dipped toward him and he reached for the warm spot where I had been until his hand found me once more.  He dropped his hand limply on my back and wheezed he sleeping wheeze.  The sides of my lips pulled up into a little smile while my eyes looked up at the clock one last time and then surrendered to the night.

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