I’m doing pretty well, for the most part. The new job keeps me busy and I like the responsible role I’m in. The new roof is in place on the house. I work in the garden whenever I can during these last days of Fall, and this past weekend was spectacular. I cook, shop, binge watch Scandal, and walk 3.5 miles every day. I bought a new BowFlex Max Trainer to replace my burned out elliptical and have used it consistently since I put it together. My friends and I meet up for dinner, excursions, travel, you name it. Look at me during daylight hours and I seem to be handling life.
But at night, when I’m alone in bed, that’s when I miss Husband #2.
I, I can’t get these memories out of my mind, And some kind of madness has started to evolve.
And I, I tried so hard to let you go, But some kind of madness is swallowing me whole.
Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma Madness. ~ Muse
I still sleep on “my side” of the bed. Not the middle. Not on his side, closer to the window. I’ve taken over his nightstand, with my new lamp, a stack of books, a second box of tissues, and a candle. I’ll take the pillows off of his area, to prop me up as I do my crossword puzzles or read the latest novel. But I won’t roll over onto his space.
I don’t ever want to be the person who gets too used to sleeping alone… who can’t make room for someone else. My friend, and life-coach, understands. She tells me of the dangers of getting comfortable with being alone, of not needing, and eventually not wanting, anyone to intrude into “my space”. She speaks to me about getting so set in ways that there’s no one who can fit in without feeling profoundly left out.
I miss the feel of him. I miss the smell of him.
It used to be that we would fall asleep, spooned around each other. He would face the window almost completely on his stomach, I would curl around him, drape my left leg over his right one, my arm around his waist, my cheek next to his back, close to the spot between his shoulder blades. A place that was still smooth, untouched by the wrinkles that crept over his face, neck, hands as the years passed. I place where he smelled of soap, sunshine, and a little bit of coffee, which I never understood. Maybe he dabbed some brew there as a way to recruit me into the ranks of coffee drinkers, or maybe he drank so much coffee that it started to ooze out of his pores.
Later, as the night wore on, we’d shift and roll. Eventually he’d end up on his back. Being a light sleeper, I’d wake to the sound of his puffing. Not snoring. Puffing. In through the nose, out through the mouth, but in puffs.
2am. Me awake. Husband #2 puffing.
I’d pull his right arm over me as I laid on my side, to get him to wrap around me. The puffing would stop and I’d fall back asleep.
All that touching, all that warmth. Winter nights wrapped up in blankets with my cold toes against his toasty shins. Summer nights waking up to the sounds of the bats fluttering outside of our bedroom windows as they found mosquitoes. Thunderstorms with lightning forking across the sky and the two of us wide-eyed watching for the next bolt. Fourth of July oohing and ahhing at the community fireworks show just over our pine trees.
I don’t want to be the one who can’t sleep with someone else in the bed. I don’t want to be the one who would rather be alone than share joys and hardships. I want to be two kids under blankets, looking at the sparks from flannel pajamas.
I miss it.
I miss him late at night when it’s just me, no distractions for my mind.
I know it’s Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma Madness.