I Don’t Wash The Sheets When I Know I Should Because I Don’t Want To Forget

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My bed is a mess. The sheets are torn out where I tucked them in extra-tight when I made it last. The bedding is all crumpled up, sweaty. There are stains where yesterday there weren’t any, blotches of passion, telltale reminders of what happens there at night. The blankets slide precariously off the edge. The headboard thumps against the wall even if I try to steady it with my hand.

Our coffee cups are still on the table, cold now. Mine is barely touched. I have the damndest time getting lipstick stains off the white glass. I think I might leave them there tonight, a weird little talisman of the events of the day.

I used to think it was lonely to get back into a bed that you’d previously made with the help of another person, the rustling of your limbs, another body tossing and turning opposite yours, the torn-up sheets, the haphazard pillows. I used to think it was sad to reorganize the chaos that foreign body created, set it all back to immaculate silence.

I used to think mornings were lonely. The routine: get up, check your email, make coffee, go through the motions. I hated the mornings I woke up alone. I liked to wake up and see someone beside me, to watch someone wake up, to see how their face changed when they went from asleep to awake. Mornings are so intimate.

I keep the bed in its state of chaos. I don’t wash the sheets when I know I should because I don’t want to forget. I like to be reminded that someone else has intruded into my life, and that his silhouette is etched in the white cotton.

He says that sometimes, I get a funny look on my face when I look at him. He can’t explain it, and he can’t understand what I’m thinking about. He calls me an iceberg, active below the surface. But I know what it is. Sometimes I look at him and I forget a whole bunch of very important things. They’re just wiped right away, gone in 60 seconds.

I don’t do yoga. I don’t meditate. I can’t “chill.” My brain moves too much. I do not do well in quiet spaces where I’m supposed to focus on things like my breath and its intentions. I’m always thinking about the next thing, what I’m going to do next, when will this end. I think that’s why my heart beats fast, really. It’s too keyed up, waiting for things to change.

I don’t relax. It’s not something I can easily do. I move through my days at the rapid-fire pace of a true Type A. I don’t let go. I don’t move through my chakras or send my energy to a certain spot in my body. I don’t focus on quiet. I’m not good at that. Maybe it’s the fault of my iPhone and its constantly bleeping messages from a million people. I can’t set it down. I can’t shush my brain.

But when I’m with him, when we’re as close as we can possibly be to one another, no space between to fuck things up, I look at him and I let it all go. I exist just for this, just for a few minutes. TC mark

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