The bed I’ve been sleeping in is larger than our old bed. I can sprawl on my stomach, spread all my papers out over the bedspread, line up a hundred pens and piles of books and my folders and the remote control, my messenger bag and my cellphone. When I go to sleep, I just push everything over, pull down a corner of the comforter and crawl in. I drop my glasses on the pillow beside me, rather than reach all the way over to the night table.
In the morning, when I come back out into the bedroom with a toothbrush in my mouth and a can of Diet Pepsi in my hand, I notice that it looks as if the bed hasn’t even been slept in. It looks like someone’s rumpled the blankets, just a bit on one side. As if someone had, maybe, sat for a moment on the edge of the bed. Dented the pillow with an elbow. But not as if someone had been lying there.
It looks as if I was never there.
I have not been able to reclaim the opposite side of the bed.
Sometimes it’s cold, even with the comforter. I feel myself stretch my
back toward the body heat that isn’t there. I want to pull his arm
around me, and have his skin, always hot, sometimes too hot, next to
mine. I want to turn, and press my face to his back and whisper against
his neck. Tell him to give me a bedtime story.
It’s the hardest at night. It’s hard to turn off the light. Harder to
turn off the television. I try to drift off with it on—the noise,
and the light. The feeling that I’m falling asleep just waiting for him
to come home from another late night at work.
I wake up in the middle of the night, sometimes, with my throat full of tears and there is no soft voice asking if I’m okay.