I push the door closed until I hear the quiet click. I don't even turn on the light. A few steps, and my hand finds my bed. I don't slip off my jeans or pull off my sweater. I pull the comforter back and lie down. One thump hits the floor. Then the other. I pull the cover over me--jeans, sweater, and all. I don't have the energy to take them off, and no one notices anyway.
It has been a long time since I dreaded going to bed. It has been a long time since I couldn't bring myself to undress...because there is no one to undress for.
Friends ask how I am. I shrug and say I am tired, not sleeping well.
I am telling the truth.
They suggest sleep aides, various sleep help. How do I explain this?
Oh, I can say sleeping alone is hard, and people nod because we all know how tormenting an unreleased sex drive can be. What people don't know is that the bed is so much more than sex.
The bed is where rest is found, and there is none here. I know when I lie down that within a few hours, someone will have a dream that bothered them, someone will suffer from insomnia for some unknown cause, or someone will have misty eyes from missing their dad.
The bed is a place for intimacy, and I am intimate with no one. When people ask how I am, I answer fine. If I cannot answer fine, I say nothing. In fact, if I cannot say I am fine, I avoid people altogether.
The bed is a place where the day is settled and dreams in the waking are rolled around, but I am too tired to settle anything, and my dream...? I chuckle to myself. It isn't going to bed in jeans and a sweater and it not mattering.
The bed is a place of knowing...knowing someone else...someone else knowing you. Vulnerability. Honesty. Letting someone see beyond the jeans and the sweater. And I wonder if I have enough trust in me to do that anymore...in bed or out. I try to swallow the reality that I don't think I do...and am terrified I never will.
The tears slip quietly and soak into the odd corner of the blanket where my head lies because it doesn't matter if I take up the whole bed.
Then I hear the voice through the door. His legs are cramping. Will I get him some ibuprofen? I barely have time to say I am on my way and wipe the wet from my face when I hear the emergency call. The toilet is clogged and backing up, and she thinks it may overflow, and how does the plunger work anyway?
I close my eyes tight squeezing back the hot tears and breathe deep suppressing the ability of the scream in my mind to escape from my mouth.
I pause. Compose. Toss back the covers.
Doesn't matter anyway. After all, who really expects to sleep in jeans and a sweater anyway.