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