I’m bad at sleeping with people. That’s not to say I’m bad at sex. As far as I know I’m a decent lay but then again, I’ve never met a man who’d say any different if you challenged him. Only the ladies know for certain and you can’t trust a word out of their mouths. No, what I mean is, I’m bad at sleeping when there’s another person in the bed. Big deal right? I mean, there’s starving kids in Africa and all that and I’m sitting here bitching about a few lost winks when I have to share my King sized. Well, everyone’s got problems and this is mine.
See, when I was a single man it was irritating. I’d spend the fuzzy evening hours trying my best to charm the pants of some lovely number I’d pick up at a party or a game. I’d chat her up about some nonsense and then slip in a line or two about how drop dead she was. Sometimes it’d work, others not so much but when it did work, I’d perform to the best of my ability and then when it was all over I’d lie there, eyes glued open until I hated her.
Have you ever woken up next to someone who’s spent the last twenty-four hours awake? It isn’t a pretty sight, especially when the last eight hours were a torturous montage of tossing, turning and all around restlessness. We both look like extras in the Walking Dead. Skin loose, red eyed, foul breathed and just kind of meth-y in general. Most women booked it for the door, but not Susan.
She slept like the goddamn dead. No matter how much I flip and toss and turn and roll and stretch and sob, she sleeps right through it. We’ve been going together for five months. We like all the same shows, we only occasionally argue over take out and her favorite position is backwards cowgirl. I’ve never been so in love.
I was even starting to get a handle on my constant state of fatigue. Susan would sleep over about three nights a week. I’d make sure these nights would always fall on days where I had something to do the next morning. I’d take a quick nap before she came over and then I’d set an alarm to go off a couple hours before I actually needed to get up. When it went off, I’d switch to the couch to grab a few extra winks. It wasn’t a perfect method. I was still dead tired and I spent the rest of the week making up for it but on the whole, I was happy until last week.
She’s moving in. Fuck.
I don’t know how it happened. We discussed it and for whatever reason it seemed like a fine idea in some distant, far off, imaginary future sort of way but now it’s actually happening. Her lease is expiring. She has a key. She can come and go as she pleases. More and more of her stuff keeps appearing and I get a little less sleep every night. I’m dying. Don’t tell me not to be dramatic I’m fucking dying.
…shut up… no you’re crying… sorry, I just need a minute…
Anyway, if you don’t understand you probably never will but I’m gonna try and break it down for you anyways. She crawls into bed, I try to lay on my side facing the open air. She puts her arm around me and I can feel every invisible hair picking at my skin, stirring up random itches. A layer of sweat builds between her skin and mine. Her breath leaves a moist circle on the back of my neck that is alternatively steaming hot and clammy cold every six seconds. Her legs twitch, leaving me in constant anticipation that I might be snagged by a jagged toenail. Every stray breeze from the open window sends loose hairs drifting from her head like the tendrils of a jellyfish to sting and prick and suffocate. Then there’s the sound. A whistling inhale followed by a whooshing exhale right in my ear, perforated every few minutes by a quiet yelp or grunt and the wet clicking of a tongue working saliva around a dry mouth. My side aches from remaining in the same position but I don’t dare roll over. Facing the bed would mean a shared supply of oxygen that quickly turns rancid. It would mean that I’d have to keep my arms pinned to my side or else extend them over the mass of thorns and sweat beside me. In short I’m trapped and if that weren’t bad enough, now I have to pee.
Imagine laying like that for eight hours a night, every night for a week and maybe you’ll get the idea. So what am I to do? I’m nodding off behind the wheel. I’m making mistakes at work. I gave a kid a hundred-dollar bill for a black coffee this morning and told him to keep the change. I wasn’t being generous. I thought it was a five. I’m not sure how delirious you have to be to mix up Benjamin Lincoln and Abraham Franklin but I’m pretty sure it’s not good.
We watch a lot of historic dramas. You know Reign, Rome, the Tudors, the Borgia’s, that sort of thing. In those shows, Kings and Queens don’t just have King sized beds, they have their own rooms. I don’t know what jackass decided that was unromantic because to me, nothing sounds more romantic than a soft, quiet pillow. My place is big enough. I have a spare room that has nothing in it but boxes of crap I never bothered to unpack. Tonight I’m going to tell her. I’m going to calmly explain that I love her and nothing in the world can change that. I’ll offer to take the smaller room. I’ll give her the whole closet and let her put doilies and whatever other girly crap she likes all over my beautiful apartment. I’ll make her breakfast every morning and rub her feet every night if she’ll just please, please let me sleep alone. I’m sure she’ll understand. She has to, right?
Postscript: I fucked up.