My husband infuriates me. Every single night, he gets into bed, closes his eyes, and BOOM. He is asleep. No fuss. No muss. Not a toss, not a turn. Just out like a light. I, on the other hand, take at least an hour to drop off.
Not only that, because if it were just the odd hour, during which I could imagine myself in a romantic movie starring someone ruggedly male, or walking on a beach collecting blue beach glass, or standing on the terrace of my five million dollar New York City co-op, I would not be so furious with the slumbering accordionist beside me.
It is so much worse. More often than not, I can’t get to sleep at all. My eyes close, only to open again to look at my watch. Yup. Another wakeful hour has passed.
I don’t hate this all the time, because I managed to utilize many of those wakeful hours completing my first novel, and now that I am approaching the end of revisions for novel number two, I also have logged in many wide awake hours writing.
Here’s the thing, though. Countless evenings go something like this: We sit in the TV room, watching a fascinating documentary about fish gills. The accordionist loves the science. I, bored out of my skull, start to drift off. I jolt myself awake at the mention of spawning habits, sit up a little straighter, and try to concentrate on the underwater closeups of salmon cavorting upstream. Not five minutes later, my head drops to my chest. I begin to dream about tuna salad sandwiches (I hate salmon, btw).
My entire body is relaxed. I open one eye. Something clicks in my brain. Hurry upstairs, it says. Pop right into bed. You are already asleep-just continue up there!
I stumble up. As fast as possible, I strip off my clothes and throw on a tee shirt. I rip off the covers and drop into bed.
Five minutes later, every single nerve in my body is on high alert. My eyes snap open. I tense up.
Two hours later, when my husband tiptoes in, undresses in the dark so not to disturb my slumber and creeps under the covers, I poke him in the arm and say “Thanks, but I am wide awake.”
He doesn’t answer. Because he is already asleep.