I sleep in the oddest places; like the living room couch, the floor beside my bed, and Meulaboh (with all other attributes in mind, being Saudi and well off and high-maintenance, this IS considered an odd place).
I sleep in the oddest fashion. The bedroom door open. The television blaring. The lights all turned on or completely turned off. And there are some weird sleeping settings that I shouldn’t mention here, considering the professional and personal life I’d put in demise if mentioned so publicly like this.
And I do sleep weird. I talk and balk and bark in my sleep. I practice karate in my sleep. And the dreams…oh, man, the dreams…
People were starting to give me the odd look for my public sleeping habits. So last night, I tried to sleep like a normal person. I had my warm milk. Closed the bedroom door. Said my prayers. And tucked my self in bed, under the blankets.
And stayed awake for hours until I had to go to work the morning after.
[The thing with intentionally trying to sleep is that we are also intentionally trying to trust the darkness of the unknown. The act of sleep is the act of letting go of your worries and fear and love and longing. Who – in their sane mind – would do that?]
I tell the people who wonder about my sleeping habits (I guess they’ve become bizarre enough to raise their own inquisitions), that I like to listen to the acoustics. Sleeping with the bedroom door wide open, sleeping in the middle of the big empty house, sleeping with the television and radio blaring, are just indications to how much I love to listen.
Listening provides control over what I know and don’t know happening around me.
I keep a tight grip around the acoustics that surround me only because I’m so scared that if I miss one note, one tinker, or one sigh, the rest of the world would move on without me.
I don’t know. Nowadays, the sounds that I hold my breath for are laden with so much bad news. The sound of the biometric door turning, the sound of the elevator arriving on my floor, the sound of the first greeting and salaam…they’re all just a way of releasing the false note:
- Are you staying?
- Are you going to hold me?
- Am I not going to sleep alone again tonight?
- Am I going to wake up with you on the other side of the bed?
[That’s why trying to sleep like a normal person, tucked in bed and under the blankets, got me insomnia. Because like hell do I trust the darkness and the unknown realms of sleep. Like hell do I feel all right sleeping alone.]
The best sleep I’ve ever had were the ones where I went to be and got up “not-alone”. Do you remember what those were like? When you stirred to consciousness with someone keeping the other side of the bed within your reach? When you woke up to a kiss on your nape, with a tightened hug, or a languid lovemaking to freshen you up?
More than missing going to bed with you, I miss waking up with you.