Why We Sleep Together

I was referred by a post on A Cup of Jo to an article in The Atlantic, “Why We Sleep Together”. One part of the article makes the observation that, “It’s important to talk about our days lying side by side, discuss children and household situations, gossip about neighbors and colleagues, plan for tomorrow in the confines of private chambers.”

This article hit home for me as I am a fan of the nights where J and I curl up under the covers, turn out the lights, and fill the darkness with our secrets, our fears, our future plans and belly laughs (So sorry, Mister and Misses Neighbor!). The dark, as scary as we believed it to be when we were young, now provides a sense of security. With the house dark, save for the light-play of the tree branches in the moonlight projected on the wall, I feel safe sharing, writing, and pouring myself out.

Some nights, the trading of stories and spilling of secrets lasts into the wee hours of the following morning—but I’m not bothered by it. If anything, I wake the next day with an extra bit of light in my eyes and spring in my step because of the love that’s washed in and over and all around me as I lie in the dark and whispering my struggles and listening to J tell me his worries and his hopes before wrapping an arm around my middle, burying his face in my shoulder, and whispering “have a good sleep.”

As The Atlantic article states, “We are creatures of attachment.” And boy am I. I am attached at the heart and mind to one of the most thoughtful, loving, hard-working, beautiful men in all the world. And I know I have this little habit to thank for a great deal of the bond we’ve built over the last three months forever.

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Limbo

I’m sitting at my desk at work while I write this, but it’s short-lived, you see. I’m quitting, or have quit — depends on how you look at it, I suppose. My papers are organized, references made for tricky processes, emails have been publicly archived, papers filed, and an away message set to begin in 30 minutes telling my customers that I no longer work here.

So, you see, if intentions count for anything, I have already quit but I haven’t managed to say the words to anyone of the faces milling about. I continue to take calls and process accounts while I sit here and muster up the courage to do it, to end this stage, this job that I’ve done well with, but that has been slowly sucking the enjoyment from my life for the majority of the two years I’ve sat in this chair.

I’m still sitting in this chair. My thoughts are screaming and my heart is pounding and the time is running out to muster the words to express my completion of employment. I’m in limbo and it’s eating me alive.

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The Losing Battle

It’s stumbling. It’s catching your toe on the smallest stone or crack in the sidewalk and suddenly you’re falling — again. Around and around you go, your legs spinning as you desperately attempt to right yourself, to keep from slamming into the ground. You might catch the arm of a friend or manage to pull up before impact, saving yourself the slow motion careening, but the bruises, breaks, and scrapes appear on your hands, you knees; the pink-cheeked embarrassment now one more affliction, one more weight, one more reason to hide.

Whether you crash or are miraculously granted a steady (for the time being) foothold, you’re shaken, you’re rocked to your core. With both feet beneath you, the world still feels slippery, as though you’re no more than a few moments away from ending up back there. It’s constant, overwhelming, never-quite-succeeding attempt after attempt to regain balance, to restore right. It’s a never-ending masquerade ball, it’s spinning and bowing and distracting nearby eyes from tender wounds. It’s a life-long charade, a fight to save face when, some days, you don’t want to try again, you don’t want to fight anymore, you don’t want to lose anymore.

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In the Night

Just after midnight we were thrown into wakefulness by a crashing from the bathroom. Content in our awareness that it was nothing malevolent, just a faulty shower caddy tumbling from the wall, we adjusted and waited for our heart rates to return to a resting low. Yours quickly returned while mine refused to settle. With sore joints and a newly restless mind, I rolled over to the glow of my phone and began catching up on my articles.

Minutes passed and your breathing returned to the deep and rhythmic inandout that I loved. I read story after story, still unable to put my mind to rest. Adjusting your position, your legs and torso curled further, pushing against me with your backside, unaware of your own movements. You looked so small with your limbs sleepily folded; so peaceful; so beautiful.

Words began to pour into my mind:

We are a tumbling mess of limbs as we drop our defenses and fall in and against and along side one another.

We are imperfect in all the right ways; our protrusions and rough edges carefully sliding past and settling into the other’s concavities, filling them so naturally.

You adjusted again, unfurling your long legs and rolling onto your back, your face turning toward the glowing light on my face. Hey, you.

I cast aside my distraction and turned back to your sleep-soft face. Placing kisses ever so softly against your shoulders, your back, your neck, your forehead and your stubbled cheek. Tired and contented sighs escaped your chest, I couldn’t keep from running my fingertips in trails across your skin, I couldn’t keep from kissing your curves and corners. I was in love, so completely, in that moment. My heart was full and racing, threatening to explode. You are my everything, and I wanted you to feel it, I wanted you to know.

And so it went, for the next couple hours: a quietly spilling out of love while we wrapped arms around one another, intertwined our legs and pulled closer until our hearts struck the other through muscle and flesh. I couldn’t bear to release you, even for a moment. The words were pouring out and I just let them fall to the ground without putting them to paper because I didn’t want the moment to end, I didn’t care how many words I had telling me how the moment felt, I wanted to be in it, completely, and with my whole attention.

This is what loving you feels like, a whole body wrecking as we collide in the moonlight; a casting off of unrelated requirements so that I might spend a few more moments tucked with such care inside the cavities of your chest, caressing your heart in ways it never knew it needed to be touched.

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