August 16, 2011

The Other Side of the Bed

Ever since I moved into this apartment in January, I've kept to my side of the bed.

Even though it's only a double bed, I've stuck to my single side.

Even though it's my old mattress from my old New York apartment, where I used to sprawl and toss across both sides of the bed, I've only nuzzled one pillow, folded over one corner of blanket, on one side of the bed.

I've been saving the other side. I've preserved it. I've tried to leave it unsullied, neat, tucked, and folded, for whomever might want to assume the position, next to me.

I haven't smeared my eyeliner on the pillowcase, or pressed my unwashed hair into it.

I haven't swept my suntan-sticky legs, still dusty from hiking, across the sheets. Not on that side.

I haven't eaten breakfast, or spilled crumbs in the bed. Not on that side.

I haven't drooled or sneezed, coughed or cried.

Well, I have - but only on my side.

Until now.

I'd saved the other side of the bed, until my head hurt so badly, I thought I might never wake up. I saved it until I needed more of the bed to comfort me, to embrace me, to protect me, to soften the blow of the pounding that started in my heart and emanated out of my head. Blood racing, room spinning, I slithered over there slowly, inching my way to solace, reaching for something, nothing found.

But once I was over there, it was too late. My tears had already dripped. My fingers had already slipped. I'd grabbed onto the other side of the bed, and I didn't let go. My half of a bed became whole; my one pillow became two.

And now both sides of the bed are mine for the taking, no longer worth saving.

At least, until I change my sheets.

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