The 30 minute nap can awaken and enlighten you, providing a fresh start to a new day. Stay sleeping too long and you run the risk of waking up groggy — leaving your couch, or bed, or chair slowly — feeling the constant pull back to your former rest as your body moves forward.
Our love lasted too long. We had summer perfection — the damp sweat on the forehead of a dancing cotton dress. Our short life was emboldened by every waking/resting moment spent together. We understood the danger early on. When the summer nights were just starting to stay humid and warm we knew that this might end badly. My life was unknown as yours was set to stick around this town for a few telling years.
The conversation broiled and swung from side to side, spilling the sheets onto the floor, until we settled: together. You seemed to jump as I slowly slid into the stream. The lightning bugs danced on as we made firm the path we would be taking. As we fell to sleep that night, my heart leapt at the thought of staying around to see what could come.
The summer drew on and we passed the common barriers of a new relationship. We passed the barriers as I resisted each and every one. The murmur you gave as you slept under light blankets fulfilled each and every desire I had. The innocence and trust that developed so swiftly lead us to forget the coming awakening. As we sleep we often don’t dream of the end and the wake. You let little things slip: the fear of love, the joy in security, the desire in physical love.
We passed the 20 minute mark, the 30 minute mark, the 45 minute mark until we found ourselves staring at a whole hour gone by. We slept and rolled and felt for far too long. The damage was done, and we knew it.
You said goodbye to me on a Friday, the weekend I was saying goodbye to everything in my life. I had looked forward to one last weekend with you: one more final minute of rest before my head had to leave the pillow. The abrupt awakening from a surprising source turned our nap into torment. The rest of our day spent unavoidably reminiscing on that just-over-an-hour period. We had failed to understand the first rule of napping — short and sweet, with no real deep meaning.
Then, the twist in the knife, a quick lay down in the bed, right before walking out the door. Almost as important as knowing how to keep things short if they are meant to be momentary is the understanding that you can’t return to your bed before leaving for whatever it is you’re going to.
This will prove utterly fatal.
You allowed me to join you in your nap for one more moment before I left – we spoke for hours, sitting on a stage floor. I leapt at the thought of just another embrace before heading out the door, so I laid right down next to you — I sang songs that I wanted to make you remember me with. As I get up to leave, I finally understand just how much this cost me. Our brief respite from the world only proved the harshness that faced us. Our rest sapping us of more energy than it could have ever hoped to provide.
Napping is dangerous, and we were caught off guard when we woke up much too late.