Tonight I was very, very sleepy at an hour more suited for toddlers than grown ups. At 7:30 I was already drifting off in front of the computer screen. I believe in going to bed early when necessary, but that hour was a little too early. So here I am instead.
It's been a weird week, with my husband gone all evening for play practice. I'm fine until bed time. Then the silence suddenly grows large and heavy and, yes, loud, with a high whine of loneliness in it. It's hard to believe that I used to be adept at living and bedding down alone, with no discomfort. I'm out of practice, that's all, but I'll be glad when this circumstance is over.
Always a funny thing to say: I'll be glad when.... There may not be a future "when" in which to be glad. Better to be so now--if not generally, then about whatever there is to be glad about even if there are other things still unsatisfactory, like all the good dinners this week even if I would rather have had my husband with me to share them.
What I mean when I say that phrase is not that I refuse to be happy or that I am incapable of being happy until circumstances change. I only mean that I will be glad about getting back to our normal life, with dinner companionship and warm feet to rest my cold toes upon as I read. I will be glad to be spared the challenge, however surmountable I've proven it to be in the past, of starting off the night's sleep with an acute sense of aloneness and vulnerability, neither of which is any more true or false than other nights when I'm not at home alone, nor of more duration than an hour or so anyway, but which are also unpleasant.
Let's say that I'll be more glad when this is over. My entire happiness isn't hinging on getting back to a life circumstance that I like better, but I will rejoice just a little and heave a great sigh of relief when our regular shared schedule resumes.
Funny how circumstances affect our perception of reality. I am the same woman in the same bed in the same house as every other night, yet I perceive the experience differently due to the absence of one part of the usual whole--that beloved other who shares this touching-down space. It's a phenomenon as old as time and couples, but unsettling still. I'm very glad indeed that it is, as far as I know, only temporary and that I have a husband I'd rather have home than out of my hair.
Just now, there are sounds I can't readily identify from out in the dark somewhere, and I prick my ears, wondering. Even the cat hasn't come back in to provide a bit of aloof relief. If the dryer weren't running still, I would disappear into my down covered bed with a fresh novel to drown out the ridiculous feelings my badly trained body/mind can manufacture.
Wait. These situations are why there's a fluff setting on the dryer. I'll call in that ornery cat and give it up for the day, turn on David's crutch of a fan, and bravely surrender to the silence that I know isn't nearly as scary as it seems right now.
Conquering the fear of being alone? Been there, done that. I'm glad to know that I can. I'm equally glad to know right now that I don't have to do it again for much longer.
The dryer just buzzed, the cat is pawing at the door, and I've exorcised my ghosts here where it was fun again. I'm glad about that, too. Let's see how the silence sounds now.