Murphy (the Bed Metaphor)
When you slept over, you kicked out the tucked-in comforter, declaring it a nuisance.
When you slept over, you couldn’t sleep with the music. I got up and turned it off.
When you slept over, you got into left side of bed to sleep on your right side. So you could do big-spoon, you pushed me to face the wall.
I counted three hundred measures of your quiet, comforting snoring, then I unlocked your sleep-heavy arms and crept out. For a while I laid on a rug (on the floor, nearly under the bed), on my left side, with my feet curled in the hem of a blanket, my right shoulder covered.
When you slept over, I did small chores quietly, paced the backyard in the moonlight. I had a bath, probably, smoked seven or ten cigarettes, probably. I used headphones to keep the music from disturbing you.
When you slept over, you woke after curling your knees tight up to your chest and after you half-sneezed twice. You didn’t get out of bed, you didn’t get up. You accepted a cup of coffee, ten minutes fresh, made when you seemed close to waking. You had no idea it was the second pot, nor did you ask how long I’d been up. (Three hours.)
You marveled at actual breakfast! (bacon and eggs with avocado and tomatoes). I laughed: “I make breakfast every morning. I’m not doing this to impress, this is what I do.”
I rarely sleep more than five hours. And I sleep those all over my bed. I begin on my left side, with my head on the left side of the bed. Upon a particular pillow, my right arm and shoulder propped on a (different) particular pillow, my feet stretched to the right corner, tight into the tucked-in comforter that covers my right shoulder and my right ear, usually to some sort of ambient/electronic. I know these might soothe me into the very small sleep I get The faster I might fall asleep, the larger share of those hours.
I know how difficult is sleep; how desperately difficult comfort.
So if my duvet tucked in is noisome, or the only way slumber finds you is on your left side, or no music is the better lullaby: I can forfeit those for your ease, your rhythmic snore, your at-last-relaxed stretch, your mumbled explanation of a dream involving kites and marshmallows in Ancient Egypt.
But this is my bed. And this is my space, my studio and kitchen, my backyard and garage.
As comforts go, I know some of mine.
Please, take a little care because you insulted my duvet and bed-making. Take note that in my near-minimalism, I have few things but always music. Take a breath and ask me how (or if) I slept. Take a moment, realize that while I might invite you to share it, making breakfast for myself is an act of love and courage.
When you slept over, you left the memory of the ocean in the linens. The smell between your legs, behind your ears, and under your arms. The thicksalty aroma caught in the back of my mouth where my nose begins.
But long before you slept over I named myself for the ocean.