I roll over, briefly waking from my sleep and push a random key on my cellphone which is laying on the bed beside me: 4:39 a.m. The space beside me in my bed is still empty and Licorice, sensing my movement and knowing I'm awake, begins pacing about the room and eventually jumps up on the bed beside me and lays down with his head on the pillow next to mine. I wonder how much dogs can truly comprehend. Some nights that space is occupied and other nights it's empty. Does Licorice remember someone sleeps there occasionally and is he intentionally trying to fill the spot?
Even though it's early and I've only had about four hours of sleep, I toss and turn restlessly. I'm no longer afraid for the person who should be with me, I'm simply so used to his presence, even Licorice's lanky body spread across the bed next to me doesn't cut it anymore. I need him there, especially when he says he will be there and I am anticipating his arrival.
It's a strange thing need--so often it creeps up on us unexpectedly. One minute you're gaily (or obtusely) passing through life without requiring anyone to help you other than someone to hold the door open for you when your arms are full of packages. The next you're surprisingly head over heels in love with someone you never expected and you find yourself becoming so used to having them around, it's as though your life never existed without them. Sometimes I sit and try to think about what my life was like before I met him, but nothing comes to the surface.
"Sue," I asked my sister last night, "When you were dating Eric (her now ex-boyfriend who she is stuck working with) did you ever forget about what you life was like without him?"
"He was so much a part of my life, when I thought about it, it seemed as though he was always there," she replied and then went back to solving her word puzzle.
"Sometimes, sometimes I can't remember what I did before I started dating him," I confess.
"You were really boring."
Trust sisters to keep you grounded.
5 something a.m. and I'm dozing when I hear the tell tale creak of the apartment door and the sound of a heavy backpack hitting the wood floor. A minute later the hallway creaks with the sound of his feet and he comes into the room and pads about quietly, unaware I'm awake and listening.
I stir and he pauses and comes over the bed, bends over and kisses me when I sit up. "Sorry I'm late, babe," he says and then goes on to explain what he was doing.
"There's a crazy lightning storm going on out there..." he adds.
Suddenly I notice the streaks of lightning going sideways across the sky and the distant rumbling of the thunder. A light breeze ruffles the curtains and he moves the fan to the end of the bed so we have a small respite from the weight of humidity of that cloaks the room.
The storm continues on for a while and I lay on my side watching the lightning through a small crack in the black curtains. He rests his hand on my side and kisses my neck. I feel safe. Sleep is suddenly overpowering and I close my eyes and slip away.
A disturbing dream about how he was talking about me to someone, laughing at me and mocking me behind my back woke me up abruptly and I rolled over.
"I had a bad dream about you," I say sleepily. "Don't ever change."
He opens his eyes and looks at me, mumbles "Okay" and falls back asleep.
I drive back from dropping him off at his work in a neighbouring city. The highway is so congested on the return trip, what should be a 45 minute breezy drive turns into over an hour and a half of hell, sweating in the sun, Licorice panting in the back seat. My left arm is significantly darker than the right: driver's tan.
Overdraft feels bad. I drain my account to pay a number of bills and still have so much more to pay. Sitting down and working through my expenses for the month of May, I come to the disturbing conclusion that I spend far more money on eating out than I should. The new resolution for June (joining the break from drinking and smoking) is to severely cut back on such spending. Surely there is a way to enjoy life without eating out multiple times a week...
That's my life right now.
Yesterday we lay on the grass outside the apartment and stared at the puffy white clouds drifting by. It was free and it was peaceful. I guess there are many things one can do in this city and in life without paying money, so I will now begin to keep a running list of such things.
#1: lay on the grass and cloud watch