I’m sleepless in my bed.
The cat purrs at my feet drawing a sound barrier between me and the rest of the house. Sitting at the head of the bed, beneath an orgy of plaster-white cherubs, I slide my feet beneath the covers and the warmth-radiating feline. In turn, she gets up and slithers her way beneath the duvet only to curl up in the arch of my bent legs as though in a voluntary sacrifice of canine generosity. I really don’t know how she does it throughout the night sandwiched in between my hips and the heavy bed linens, in pitch-black darkness without a fresh supply of air. But every night, she returns. And I only need to lift the duvet a little bit for her to dive right in.
I thought I’d do the same once Departed came back, but he is nowhere to be seen on the landing strip. It’s a problem, but it might be a good one.
You see, I met Departed a few weeks before he travelled. It was a “Have you met Ted?” encounter at a gathering, which turned into last-man-standing party, characteristic of those people who talk and talk and talk and with each word the magnets are rotating a little faster, until they are spinning like gyroscopes, standing their hairs on end, creating an ethereal glow within the other and self, so bright it fizzes and whizzes and both feel the tension and the charges building up and both know that the only thing that will deliver relief is a simple –
But you know you want the tension building up, because the higher the tower, the more fantastic the fall. I’d take out a piece by sliding to his side. He’d remove a piece by placing his heavy arm around me. I’d pull out the middle part by placing my inner arm on top of his smooth hard knee. He’d strike out a tricky one by laughing hard and leaning into the core of my body. Little by little, the precarious tower began to lean until –
I wasn’t looking for anyone, but we were getting along like two buttered toasts. As the guests started to disappear one by one, it was clear that we were staying for each other. We left with the last of our friends who had stayed for us as well and who made serious effort to make conversation when Departed loomed over me, blocking out the annoyingly bright street lamp, and –
But we were under influence, exhausted, smelly and even though the tension was broken, I was too numb to feel that surge of ecstasy, so I pushed him away saying this was not the right time. So he immediately created an excuse to have drinks the following day.
What followed were beautiful developments. Departed was unlike anyone I have ever had as my Cupid’s target. He’s a big boy, buff as polished marble, with a myriad of facial expressions that change his name, his age, his sexuality. He can be sharp, he can be rounded, he can be rough and he can be cozy. Our tastes were polar opposites, but when we fell asleep the fit was perfect, every limb like plasticine sculpted over and under and around and every difference melted into the sleepy sea of creases, folds and rolling hills.
But my man is gone now. It is a problem. One, he is not mine. Two, it’s been too long. Three, I like my dish served hot. And this one has been left out in the open past its expiry date. So I surrender to impatience, I surrender to the possibility of this whole thing being a fluke, I surrender until his Arrival.
It will just have to start all over again. Or not at all.