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Awake By Myself

November 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

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.

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  • ebonifire

    so, im new to the blog so give me a break if you’ve already answered this but…is this a true story? if so, does she read your blog? and if yes, is this in fact a passive-aggressive way of beginning a break up?

  • Dililah

    Your writing style is really good and I like the title you chose for this post. Beautiful piece!

  • Noemi

    This was beautifully written Jozen. One of my favorite posts thus far/

  • LumbarPuncture

    Could you possibly have borrowed a page out of my life?

    I just recently broke up with my ex for reasons that didn’t include this one but this was definitely an issue for us. I’m usually up by 6:30am for school so going to bed early was always a treat for me. He always wanted to talk about intense issues RIGHT before I wanted to go to bed…the kind of issues that stay on your mind all night so that you CAN’T sleep. “Let’s talk about it tomorrow” wasn’t an option for him so we’d waste time arguing over WHEN to talk. Ugh…getting mad thinking about it…lol

    Anyway, nice post. (Your blog is quickly becoming one of my favorite ones)

  • sleepingbeauty

    WOW VERY TRUE! My boyfriend and I recently stated that maybe we can’t be together b/c of our different sleeping patterns. He likes to talk about our problems as soon as Im ready to go to bed at 11 PM…I always say lets talk in the morning but his prime time to talk is when I’m ready to go to bed ;-( …love the advice “Whatever you do, find someone who has the same sleeping pattern as you. You’ll thank me later.” well said Jozen..b/c sometimes it REALLY is the small things that make a big difference!

  • Ms.Chelle

    I hung onto every word because you speak the truth. I enjoyed this to no end.

  • TrueMan

    Sometimes you have to just agree to disagree. If it’s a “small thing”, it will pass. If not, she might not have been right for you in the first place.

  • Meeschka

    I’m an admitted lurker but I just had to leave a comment on this one. Not only because you just described my current relationship but also to tell you that your writing style is amazing. Beautiful piece, excellent advice 🙂

  • Danyel Smith

    a good one, JC. //dSW

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  • Ren

    I’ve read a few of your posts and I have to say they’re great. It’s always really good to read stories from a male’s point of view, because it makes me realize that some of you are a lot lighthearted about things than we like to think. You’re calm and prefer no drama. I wish I could do that more often.

    (I’ve subscribed to your posts. Great work.)

  • msjjohnson1

    Oh my goodness you don’t understand how this hits home