Awake By Myself
She’s sleeping and I’m not. I’m wide awake, like it’s the middle of the day. Right now, it’s the middle of the night. Four o’clock ante meridiem.
We do this every night. Well, not every night, just every night this week. Fighting like this, sleeping like this. In the same bed, but not at the same time because of mad fights: Mad at each other, mad at ourselves, mad as in, all the time we’re fighting. It gets to both of us, affects our sleeping habits.
Earlier, around 10:30, she wanted to talk about us, argue about us. Earlier, around 10:30, I wanted to go to sleep. Whatever was bothering her wasn’t enough to keep me awake, to keep me from closing my eyes. We can talk about it tomorrow, I said. Wonder what she did while I was asleep. I’m tempted to quietly reach over and grab her phone, see if she called some other dude who probably said dumb things like, “You deserve better than him.”
But let me not do that. Be cool, Jozen.
Look at her; asleep, still, back turned to me, mad at me with her eyes closed. She took all the blankets too. Damn her.
This makes me think of the time when I was 5-years-old. I think that was the first time I saw my mom and Dad fight. They had a fight one night, the next morning they woke up, and everything was fine. We were supposed to go to my Grandparents that day but right before we were about to leave, my mom said we weren’t going.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Grandma and grandpa got into an argument,” my mom explained. “We’ll go another day.”
“They should go to sleep,” I said.
My mom chuckled and said, “Why’s that?”
“You and dad got into a fight, then when you two went to sleep and woke up, you two were all better.”
My mom laughed a little harder this time, shook her head, and as she was taking off my jacket said, “It doesn’t always work like that.”
She was right. It certainly doesn’t always work like that, and it hasn’t been working like that at all lately, no matter how hard we try. If I can just stay up a little bit longer, things might be better. Or, if she can just wake up a little bit earlier.
If we can just get on the same clock, I wouldn’t be awake and she wouldn’t have all the blankets and sheets. One day, when I have kids, I’m going to tell them, “Whatever you do, find someone who has the same sleeping pattern as you. You’ll thank me later.”
Because that’s the real problem.
Forget anything we’re arguing about;the issues aren’t important. What’s important is when the arguments take place. We can agree to disagree or disagree on what we agree on like all couples do. But when two people are on different clocks — one person goes to bed at an ungodly hour, while the other wakes up at ungodly hour — that right there stokes the flames.
I told her when we first got together, how I like to go to bed early, how after 11 o’clock, I’m rarely any good for anything. Don’t even think of going to a midnight showing of a movie or even a showing starting after 9:30 p.m. Instead, catch me at 6:30 in the morning. I’m up early, with the garbage men. She told me it was fine, even though she was wired differently. She stayed up all night, sometimes even as late as when the garbage men would begin their shift. And mornings? What mornings? If it was up to her, she would sleep right through them, and say “Good afternoon.”
When things were all good, this was never an issue between us. She’d let me go to bed. When I woke up, I let her sleep. Unless we had a good reason to wake each other up (in the beginning, we always seemed to have plenty of those), our different clocks were respected.
Now things are all bad, now we got issues, this being one of them. I am so pissed because right now, she’s sleeping and I’m not.
Oh well. We will talk about it tomorrow.