I’m not used to sleeping next to someone. So when you’re here, or I’m there, or we’re both wherever, but we’re next to each other in bed (and trying to sleep) I don’t know how to be. I know how to sleep alone, but when you’re next to me I want to be in contact with you, I want to feel some part of you touching some part of me. We spend so much time apart, I’ve spent so much of my life alone, that having someone so close and not to feel them physically seems like … a waste, or … like I’m not appreciating the opportunities I’m given, somehow. Yet moving an arm or a leg out to feel your skin against my own seems oftten to twist my body into a position that is, or becomes painful. And pressing our entire bodies together, spooning one way or two others as it were, might be fine if my nose didn’t mind your hair and my arms never lost circulation… And here, this, this thinking, this dissection, this is one of the things my mind does at night, when you’re here, when you’ve just been here, trying to figure it out, how to be comfortable (physically – emotionally is a different sort of a conundrum, I think) with someone in bed. Admittedly, I spend a fair amount of thought on the subject of my own, lone, bed-occupying comfort. It isn’t just to do with having another person there, my mind runs all the time. The question simply becomes more complicated. Instead of simply rolling over to satisfy my body’s ever-shifting requests and complaints, instead of simply contorting a bit to work out some tension or strain, I think also about how to do so without disturbing you, how to do so and be able to touch you, how to do so that you don’t worry I’m in pain, and on and on… And whether my bed should be harder or softer, whether I need another blanket, a warmer pajama, to turn up the thermostat, and how any of these things may effect you… None of these questions is particularly difficult, on its own, and I apparently sleep much more soundly than you do, despite them. But I thought I’d share, since it was on my mind, keeping me up again tonight, while you sleep in another bed in another town.
That’s the question, isn’t it? How can we be comfortable, how can we do our own thing, while wanting to be close, to touch, to take another’s comfort and their independence into account, to do everything we can to make it work without sacrificing our own needs?