She was in bed. The boys were asleep and she had taken the bed in the guest room, which for better or worse had become something of a pattern. The oldest boy sleeps with us and he tosses, he turns, and he kicks. He has driven his mother out of her own bed. I stay on my sliver of mattress and I let his sleep dance around me. I am stubborn like that.
She was in bed and I was in the living room. I was writing an interview with my partner and abusing the fact that he could make me money. I thought I should brush up and pretend I watch his show, since the meat of what the editor wanted was in that regard. Luckily I had a few episodes on TiVo.
They were tearjerkers. They are always tearjerkers.
One hit me harder than others. It was about children and cancer and life and death. It was the type of program that punched you in the gut when it walked in the door and kicked you in the teeth on the way out. It was the nightmare of parents and the faces they paint all shades but stoic.
I thought about it until I couldn’t anymore. It gave me the fodder I needed for the interview and I turned off the TV. I switched on some Josh Rouse and drank a beer. My mind, it wandered.
I stopped thinking about the ultimate and concentrated on the imminent. A year from now that sweet boy sleeping sideways in my bed will be in school. His days will no longer fill mine with laughter. He will leave his brother with the loneliness that he once knew.
I thought about my wife and the long hours she works. I wished she would know what I know. I wanted her to spend every hour with the youth of our children.
She was in bed and I stood cocked against the doorway with my beer in my hand and let a few words fall to my feet. I wanted to tell her how sad I was, for no reason and for everything. I wanted to tell her that I missed her and she was missing even more.
She wanted to argue about something petty, hooked by the barb of a tangent. I turned and walked away. She didn’t follow. She was in bed.
I climbed into mine and assumed the position. There were dances to be danced and thoughts wanted thinking. He tangoed in his sleep, and eventually I soft-shoed into mine.