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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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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A Declaration

I’m no stranger to the declarations of attachments never-ending
— to attractions uncomprehending. I’m no stranger to the falling
and I’m thankful, oh so thankful for the lessons learned from love lost
but oh how I wish this had been the first, the only time I’d meant it.
Darling, as we laid there with the street lights speckling our faces,
the corner of your mouth curling as your secrets spill from wary lips,
I knew this was different. You are different. I am different with you
in the best ways. In the only ways that matter. I want you my dear,
more than I’ve ever wanted this thing, this closeness and possibility.
To say I have high hopes doesn’t touch the closest of these dreams.
Words make no mark comparable to my affections. They lack the means
to express the rate and the height from which I’m tumbling into you.

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30 Days

We made introductions over salad, pasta and cider. We laughed over ice cream in the rain. We perched close upon the bench with shoulders rubbing nervously. We spent hours not wanting the night to end. We took dinner to the park and explored favored hiding places. We kissed among the throng of passerby. We laid on the floor listening to playlists of our collective childhood. We settled in side by side and listened to stories, to hopes and dreams. We’ve wandered and adventured. We’ve locked ourselves indoors and spent entire days beneath the covers.

In the 30 days since that kiss on the cheek I’ve become no more sure of where you came from or how you found me, but I am sure of how quickly and completely you’re winning me over.

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Prized Possessions

 

It was getting late and we had just wrapped up our post-dinner card game. You were a room away, getting things settled as I crawled beneath the covers, recalling the events of earlier that day; the surprise of an email notification for a file being shared with me. Recordings. The attached note explained that you were granting me access to five years worth of musical tinkering; The innermost bits of my musical brain, you wrote. This archive was your most prized possession and I was the first person you shared them with. I was stunned. I wanted to reciprocate. I wanted to match your decision to trust.

I’ve shared this blog before with mixed results; the last time I showed it to the guy I was seeing it was not well received. I’d been made more than a little wary of sharing this collection, but I so badly wanted to share my roughly recorded thoughts. Message sent. It was out there, there was no taking it back. If I thought I was nervous moments ago, it was nothing compared with the anxiety I was feeling in the minutes leading up to your response: Subscribed. That’s pretty gutsy, putting yourself out there like that. I’m impressed.

My phone buzzed beside the bed, the screen illuminating the New Message notification and beneath it, the sender: the ex.

Several messages sent back and forth, my frustration growing with each, when you walked into the room and settled into bed beside me. I laid my phone down and buried my face in the pillow, my mind fairly well wrecked. The unexpected contact was not one I wanted to tackle that evening or, really, ever again. We read the messages allowed, I explained the loves of my past and my history of mistakes. We laid there in the dark for a few moments, my nose and lips pressed against your shoulder while I listened to our breathing match and slow. Out of the dark came your voice, shaking a little more than usual, but determined:

This isn’t really a thing that I do. I’m an overthinker, this sort of anxiety usually cripples me, but I want to start. I want to share with you.

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