Thursday, February 5, 2009

Long nights, November fights

The hardest part about breaking up is the loneliness. And the hardest part about the loneliness is sleeping.

For some reason when I get into bed I still expect to feel her next to me. Maybe it's wishful thinking, not that I want her there, but sometimes the loneliness is too much. I just want someone - anyone - there, so I don't have to sleep by myself.

It's odd how fast you can get attached to some things in a relationship. Sleeping next to the other person has to be on the top of that list. There's something overpoweringly comforting about rolling over and feeling her next to you. Her body heat warming you. Her body rising and falling softly in rhythm with her breath.

Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep. Hours. I lay there and stare at the ceiling. I'll get up and write or put on sandals and smoke a cigarette as the rest of the city sleeps. Or wakes. People ask why I stay up so late or never sleep. I can tell they've never been where I am.

Sleep is the one time when I always think about her. So much of my life has gotten easier these past two plus months. I've made so many strides, but going to bed never seems to get any easier.

Maybe because that's the one time I'm not distracted - where I can't hide from my thoughts. And inevitably she's what I think about, even if I haven't thought about her all day. There's something about the silence that makes me feel extra lonely.

And so I think.

I lay there and think about everything that happened. I wonder about her. How she is. If she wonders about me. If she can sleep. I think about how it used to be. I travel back in time. Three months. Six months. A year. Two years.

I let it all come back. All the happiness. The anger. The love. The hate. Randomly I'll think of a memory I haven't thought about in over a year. A special time. Nothing big or momentous, just us. I think about how I haven't spoken to her this year. I think about how she's practically a stranger. And I think about how weird that is.

I close my eyes and remember how it used to be. Me on the left, her on the right. Me hogging the covers and blaming it on her. The smell of her hair. The shape of her back. The whoosh of the sleepmate.

And so now I don't sleep. I stay up late. I chat. I read. I walk. But I don't sleep, because then I just lay alone all night.

The hardest part of breaking up is the loneliness. And the hardest part about the loneliness is sleeping.

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