Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Lying Awake in the Dark

You're there, less than an hour before your alarm goes off, lying awake in the dark. Your mind is calm and your body is well-rested, but still you're far too hesitant to climb out of bed. After all, it's warm under the blankets, you're comfortable, and the world seems like it's going to wait for you for another hour, anyway. Why ruin the solace?

Maybe your blinds or curtains are just a little open and you can see night slowly turning into day. Maybe all you can see is the passing by of the occasional early riser trying to get a jump on the work day. Or maybe the window's frosted over, or you don't care to look outside. Here, now, in your little corner of the room, everything is all right. And all you're doing is lying awake in the dark.

You look at your clock, or your cell phone. Time seems like it's standing still. Acts like it, too. You could swear that it's been 15 minutes since the last time you checked the time, but it's barely been four. You don't mind, though. Your thoughts are racing; life is somehow understandable as you stare at the ceiling.

Somewhere in the distance you can hear your dogs stirring. They're getting ready to greet you when you bring them breakfast. Or maybe you don't have dogs, don't even like dogs, but can hear your neighbor's. Everything is routine, everything runs like clockwork, everything is safe.

Then it hits you. You're in bed... alone. Sure, life is fine, the night is calm, the morning light even better. But she's not there.

You wonder what she's doing. She's in a different time zone, three hours ahead, so maybe she's met someone and is starting the next chapter of her life... without you. So you glance at your phone again, only this time you don't care how many minutes you have left until the alarm goes off. This time you're wondering whether or not you should call. Wondering whether or not she even wants to hear from you.

Or maybe she's simply on vacation, and you're missing her warm body beside you. Then again, maybe you've never had her warm body, and you're lost in a daydream wondering what it would be like. Would it be like a movie? The two of you made love until the sunset, then you woke early to watch her sleep while the blue light from the night sky reflected from her body.

Perhaps she is there, and as you stare at the ceiling, you take cadence to her soft breathing. Maybe you move her hair from her still closed eyes, watch her forehead wrinkle because of a bad dream she's having. Maybe catch a smile.

A quick panic as you realize you haven't checked the time in a while. The beautiful night is almost gone. You're still dreaming, but you're not.

And, as always, life's little quiet moment passes you by just before the electronic beeping of an imported device tells you that it's time to start your day. And, as always, you wish you could continue to lie awake in the dark... your thoughts alone, one way or the other, with her...

Tomorrow, I think I'll call. And maybe, just maybe... the next time she lies awake in the dark, her thoughts will be alone, one way or the other, with me.

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