I sleep alone, most of the time. And, mostly, that’s okay.
I love feeling him curl up behind me, as he fits the length of his body to mine and I sink back into him. It’s one of my favorite things.
“You’re just so soft,” he whispered to me once, many months ago. At the time, I took “soft” to heart. I took soft to mean fat. I took soft to mean a bad thing.
But I am soft. I am round and plush. I am full and lush and abundant. And fat is just a word. I’m the one who attaches meaning to it. I’m the one who internalizes it as either a character judgement or simply, a descriptor. I’m a plump, middle-aged goddess.
I can work with that.
Oddly, I sat down this morning to write about sleeping alone, both the good and the bad, but sometimes words and thoughts veer in other directions. As I lay in bed last night, exhausted but awake for hours, I wrote essay after essay in my head. They were brilliant, funny, profound. (And I don’t remember any of them.) Intermittent insomnia comes with the territory when you’ve worked nights for so many years. It was frustratingly lovely, to have so many quiet dark hours to myself. I looked at my phone. I daydreamed about sex, and writing, and public speaking. I got up and ate a fish taco. Finally I fell asleep, and dreamed of swimming pools and marble columns.
The morning came quickly, with children and puppies needing love. I don’t want to go back to bed, but I may have to, in order to function later today. They say that working night shift shortens your life. I’m not sure how anyone can determine that, but it sure feels like I am absent sometimes, when I’m necessarily sleeping when the rest of the world is awake and the sun is bright.