It’s 3 in the morning. I’m freezing, and you’re hogging all but 4 inches of blanket that now settles over my right ankle. Your mild ‘sinus issues’ in the day swell to rumbling snores at night, and though I can’t remember exactly when, I think back to when I used to find that endearing.
And now it’s just one more thing standing between me and sleep.
I think about how you always leave the toilet seat up and the TV on. How you only pretend to take the dog for a walk but actually walk it just 50 feet from the lobby to light one of your post-dinner cigarettes.
I recall the answers I googled to that stupid debate we had last week about whether the eggs we buy from supermarkets are fertilized – plotting the right time tomorrow to show you the evidence that I was right, because they are not.
I mull over in my mind how you never stare at me quite long enough for me to feel like I’m something special or how you never say, “Wow,” as if rediscovering how in love you are with me all over again. I mull over how I deserve a man who does.
I think about how the words “let’s break up” circled my mind a week and a half ago. I let them circle until I lose my nerve and rope them in from the edge of my teeth.
I tell myself I love you.
I tell myself, all I need is a break it could be just like 6 years ago. When I was hopeful, and didn’t see yet how easily we’d succumb to idle rhythm. I bet you didn’t see it coming either, but I suppose you just aren’t as hostile toward monotony as I.
I fantasize about staying a week in a 5-star resort by the Mediterranean ocean, threading flavoured rum through a straw until I’m crisp and blotchy. Maybe then, I’d long for your calloused hands, doused in cold lotion, upon my raw skin. Firm yet a tad clumsy, I’d let them sink me into a hammock in the shade.
Or maybe if I were whisked away to be wined and dined at Michelin star restaurants in New York, by a young man in a suit who always seems to know too much about NASDAQ and a sport only rich people play. Maybe then, I’d miss your distasteful jokes about The Holocaust, or your fervent and biased recounts of soccer matches you stay up to watch that, quite frankly, don’t excite me as much as I lead on.
Perhaps, if only for a little while, I escaped to a cottage in the middle of mountains blanketed with snow. And a countryman with nothing but a towel on wakes me up with breakfast in bed; eggs soft-boiled (just the way I like it) with bacon and home-brewed black coffee. Then tackles me playfully back into the mattress before I even butter my toast because he loves the way my hair looks in the morning.
Maybe then, I’d crave the soggy Chinese take-out you lay on the table every time I tell you I’m tired, too tired to cook. And the same old exchange that would follow when I’d shoot you a look and you’d respond with “But you love mu shu pork”. Before we’d coil up on the couch with the laptop playing a movie neither of us are paying attention to (and not because we’re making out).
I think about how I used to trace the impression you left on the mattress at night, and how all I feel now is the sticky heat between our spines beneath the sheets. How I used to relish every opportunity to nurse you when you got the flu, and how now it just feels like you fall ill a little too painfully frequent. How I used to wait by the door until you came home from a business trip, and how I’m wishing that you were on one tonight so I could at least indulge in a good night’s rest.
Instead of a restless fidget that blurs today into tomorrow. And every day that follows after that.
I stop telling myself I love you. Instead, I tell myself I could love you. Again. Anew.
But for that to happen, I think I need to leave. To run so far away that I can feel what my world would be without you in it. Then miss you so much that there isn’t space left to want anything or anyone else in this world.
Don’t you see? I’d be doing this for you.
After all, we are still the same people we were when we first fell in love. The same people, just that one of us needs a break.
But right now, it’s 3 in the morning. I’m freezing. And you’re still hogging the motherfucking blanket.