Sleeping with drag queens

images[2]If my calculations are correct, W and I have been sleeping in the same bed for about seven years. Not continuously like we are in the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Although that idea always seemed appealing when I was younger and depressed.

On Friday, the kid will have been in the hospital for three weeks, save the three days he spent at home. W has stayed with him every night, which means our bed is empty when I turn in.

I pile clean laundry and things to take to the hospital on W’s side of the bed to keep it from seeming so empty.

IMG_0190I look at our pillowcases that say “Big Spoon” and “Little Spoon” and wonder when the Big Spoon will be coming home. Yes, folks, I’m butch enough to admit that I’m usually the little spoon.

One of our cats is so distraught over W’s absence that he cries and deposits random items in a pile in the middle of the bed — socks, a cloth to polish shoes, cat toys. I’m not sure where he’s finding these items. I’m pretty sure some of them aren’t even ours.

At night, I stay up way too late and watch mindless TV shows — Shark Tank, Teen Mom 2, Bar Rescue, Catfish — until I am so tired I pass out.

imagesSWB6O19BFor some strange reason, I find RuPaul’s Drag Race especially soothing and often find myself falling asleep to “I’m Every Woman” or some other disco tune and instructions to “sashay away.” Because drag queens always make me feel better. The are like a Band-Aid — a sequined Band-Aid with rhinestones and wigs and high heels.

This new habit has made for some very weird dreams.

When I was a kid and my grandmother visited, she always slept in my double bed with me.

This was weird and annoying for a variety of reasons but mostly because my grandmother slept with a transistor radio that she kept on until she fell asleep.

It was an old radio, one of my grandfather’s, and seemed unable to broadcast anything but static.

My grandmother loved music but always listened to the news on her handheld radio.

I used to think she was an old lady way too interested in what was happening in the world.

But when I got older, I realized she missed my grandfather, who had passed away years before, and it was impossible for her to fall asleep without some kind of distraction.

I wonder what it was about the sound of the radio that soothed her. If the buzz reminded her of his rhythmic breathing or snoring or if she just needed noise, any noise, to fill the void he had left behind.

So with that, I’m going to sashay to bed. Just me and the cats and a gaggle of drag queens. That’s what you call a group of drag queens, right?

* * *

What about you? How do you sleep when your significant other is away?


9 responses to “Sleeping with drag queens

  1. Michelle Johnson

    Hey Rae! My wife has been staying in a boarding room since our little guy decided to come at 29 weeks. She’s been there for 59 days now so she can be close to go breast feed. I go everyday too but it’s def hard not having them next to you at night. Our little guy Sidney Thomas is finallt getting discharged tomorrow!!! And Taylor couldn’t be any happier :). Hope your guy is better!!! Prayers sent!

    • Congrats! Sounds like it’s been a struggle but that things are about to get a little easier. And look at that — Taylor is a big brother. Good luck with the little one. Mine was a preemie, too. He turns 17 in a few days, if you can believe it.

  2. When Donna is away for a happy reason, I spread out all over the bed and keep the window open, I don’t hang up my clothes right away, and I let Gracie up in bed with me. It is like when the adults go away.
    When Donna is away for a less than happy reason (like the hospital or rehab) I do the same thing, but it feels much more lonely and I toss and turn.

    • I sleep more like a butter knife. Straight and without moving on my side of the bed. That’s probably why I am the little spoon. W uses me like a big butch body pillow. And why I usually wake up with 1-3 cats sleeping on top of me. I close the window because I don’t like air blowing on me when I sleep. W likes the windows open, even when it is chilly outside.

  3. When my two older kids were younger and my husband was away, I would let them sleep with me…and our 20lb cat. Now that they are older and the cat is gone, I tend to stay up late watching shows he’s not interested in and then read until I can’t keep my eyes open. I fall asleep hoping that morning comes quickly.

    Prayers to you, W and your son.

    • Thanks, Jill. Thank goodness our cats top out at about 12 pounds. They like to use me as a human pillow. When I had my son, my mother warned me to never let him sleep in my bed. I never did.

  4. Perhaps a snorkle of drag queens? A forest? Clam shell? 😀

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