Monday, June 24, 2013

A Day In The Life

Saturday, 330 pm

We are home from the lunch we knew in advance would be intolerable and was.  Those slightly older couples who have the newlyweds out of some magnanimous feelings of "oh, what would they ever do without our largess"?  And in this case, largess being the right word.  He, a 40-something hedge fund guy who made a several killings in the good times, she a much younger recipient of all that good fortune.  Their friends, the lawyer/does something for some big company combo couple.  Us?  Tired and bored.

Though the meal was torture, it did feature several triple digit bottles of really expensive wine.

Saturday 3:55 pm

I am into pj pants and a t-shirt.  I'm just going to lay down for a few minutes to clear my wine-spinning head.  Just for a second....

Saturday 8:53 pm

"What the fuck?"

I don't know where I am.  My head is spinning and my mouth feels full of cotton.  And it comes back, slowly, in fragmented pieces.  I must have fallen asleep.  I look at the clock in both shock and annoyance.  I've slept five hours.  And I know what that means.  Any chance of sleeping tonight has been eradicated.

I almost fall out of bed.  The hangover feel more like coming out of drugs than alcohol.  My brain is still fuzzy and I pad into the living room.  David is reading a book.  He looks up at me and smiles.  He's smiling because however long he slept this afternoon, he'll sleep again.

1:30 am Sunday

I've dragged him out all over the town and we've sat through some tv together.  We may or may not have played tennis.  But I've lost the battle.  David is playing golf tomorrow and needs to wake up early.  He's done.  By 1:45 his soft, steady breathing means he's fallen asleep.  And I'm left to face the night - awake and alone - with nothing but the demons in my head for company.

2:15 am Sunday

Checks clock

2:25 am Sunday

I lose the battle.  I roll out of bed and walk silently into the other room.  Boot up the computer.  At this hour there's nothing but trouble there.  Login to old accounts - accounts which i haven't really been to yet. Scanning for familiar names.  But it is, after all, 2:30 in the morning.

Sometimes even when you look for trouble you can't find it.

Except, eventually, you can. 

And all of a sudden I'm chatting with someone I haven't spoken to in a while.  Since before I was married.  And we are catching up.  He's one of those real "fake frummy" types I used to regularly run into in my former life.  He's married, but he's always on the prowl after a new conquest. 

3:30 am Sunday

He's pushing me to know why I'm on at this hour.  I'm explaining to hm that it's my insomnia.  He isn't "buying it'.  It's got to be more.

It's always more, he reminds me.

"Let's meet tomorrow", his IM flashes.  "I'll come to the city for you" (he lives, of course, in Monsey).  It's almost 4:00 am. 

I cannot lie.  I am tempted.  Not because of this guy.  This guy is one of a million guys I've known.  Truthfully, I'd be hard pressed to remember his face.  But it isn't about him.  It's about me. 

My fight.

My constant struggle.

It's a struggle most look down on me for.  They don't get it and they never will.  Which is no excuse, just a cold, hard fact.  Made even colder and harder at 4:15 am after a sleepless night.

4:17 am Sunday

Why not?

That's the question.  He's asking it of me.  And I'm asking myself.  Public place (coffee shop of course).  No chance of anything happening.  David wouldn't be too bent out of shape if i told him I was meeting an old friend for coffee while he was hitting balls around a golf course.

4:45 am Sunday


Except Fake Frummy isn't an old friend.  He's part of my past. A past that I know I cannot re-live.  A past that always rears its ugly head on my sleepless nights.  And reminds me.  And pressures me.  And pushes me.  "Just do it"  the past he tells me.

Just do it. Just give in.

4:47 am Sunday.

"Nah", I write.  "I can't.  I don't do that nemore."

It goes on for a few more minutes.  But it's already over.  I've won this round with insomnia.  I've defeated my demons and my past this time

He's pretty pissed.  I guess I caused him to miss his beauty sleep, with no payout.  He asks (pretty pathetically) for cam sex  - just so it isn't a "total waste".  "Nah", I write again.  "I'm gonna go to sleep."

And that's a lie.  Because I won't be sleeping.  But I will be lying down next to the man I love.  And it will be a reminder of all the things I can lose if I lose myself.  Even once. 

Even one time. 

Against the the never ending flow of demons who come at me.

Every.  Single. Night.

When you are sleeping.  And I'm still awake.

5:35 am Sunday

His cell alarm ringtone shrills. It's my choice - The Beatles A Day in the Life - cut to the waking up part ("woke up, fell out of bed...).  He jerks awake and I smile.  He tries to be quite as he's fumbling around for his golf attire.  I pretend to sleep so as not to break the illusion of his "quiet".

5:55 am Sunday

He's out the door and I'm out of bed.  No more illusion.

10:15 am Sunday

I go out and sit in the shop I would have met Fake Frumy.  I drink my coffee and stare out the window - like somewhere out there is the answer to my riddle. 

Except I already know the answer.  One step at a time.  One day at a time.  One battle at a time.  Slowly.  Keep your footing.  Don't lose it.

And now I'm counting the minutes until he's back.  And we can go be with out friends and swim and celebrate summer.

Time becomes irrelevant.  It passes.

And he's home.


  1. >I cannot lie. I am tempted.

    Sorry, I didn't get it - you're tempted to do what? To meet this guy?

  2. Its too easy to fall back into your past..but you didnt. You stayed strong and that is really impressive

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. Really.

    Do you think that the hangover feeling "more like coming out of drugs than alcohol" played a part in your looking for this particular kind of trouble that night?

    I know that I can't really get it, but I too am interested to understand more about the temptation. I guess I had understood the demons in your head with which you fight and struggle as being reminders, thoughts, of your past that cause you to feel awful about yourself. Seems here to be more about actions.

    Anyway, well done. When you take it one day at a time, each day you succeed, you can celebrate!

  4. Anon - You should email me

  5. And Anon - Last night I feel asleep at like 9:50 or so - and slept like the dead all night. i think, in the end, it was exhaustion I was feeling.

    And please - email me