The Break Up


clock--the break-up croppedLast night Sleep and I broke up. We disagreed over a bar of dark chocolate. Sleep said, “You’ll regret eating that.” But of course, I ate it anyway. I should have listened because sleep was right. And I had all night to think about it.

My dark-chocolate buzz made random thoughts swirl in my head like an inter-cranial tornado, thoughts like, why can you give someone short shrift, but not long shrift? Why is abbreviation such a long word? And why are your loins the only part of your body you can gird?

In those sleepless hours, I realized how many things perplexed me. Like how fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing and why with IKEA instructions, does Tab A never fit into Slot B? Though I did figure out the difference between the blues and the blahs. You can sing the blues, but you can’t sing the blahs.

My break-up with Sleep also revealed what goes on at night in my very own house. I had assumed that after my husband and I went to bed, my cat chased dust bunnies and night-blooming spiders before joining me in the wee-small hours. Now, I always knew my cat liked me, but I had no idea that before he settles down to sleep beside me, for about 20 minutes he humps my leg. I know the duration because my clock glows in the dark. After the first 5 minutes—feeling perversely icky—I kept thinking, I slept through this? After 10 minutes, I thought, he’s going to stop any time now. I mean, I’ve never had a boyfriend with this much staying power. After 15 minutes I thought, well, now you’re just showing off and at 20 minutes I decided, he must be faking—mew, mew, mew. When he finally finished ravishing my leg, he curled up into a ball—a well-satisfied ball—and purred himself to sleep.

I used to wake up in the morning, pat my cat and think, what a sweet, innocent little boy. Now, thanks to my break-up, I know the perverted truth. Thank you, Sleep. I didn’t need to know that.

I also never knew that when my husband enters REM sleep—the rapid eye movement stage—other parts of his body move rapidly as well. No not that part. His breathing rate increases so that the airflow from his C-PAP mask sounds like I’m sleeping with Darth Vadar. Thank God he doesn’t talk in his sleep or I might hear, “Luke, I am your father.” Which would really freak me out.

I hope that tonight Sleep can forgive me because I’ve learned my lesson. No more dark chocolate at midnight. I’m sticking with milk chocolate. And if anyone can tell me how to gird my leg to protect it from my cat—talk to me later.