Saturday, November 14, 2009
It's Saturday night, and I'm sitting here watching "Nights in Rodanthe." This is exactly the type of movie that Michael would quickly lose interest in. He would try to appear interested, but would soon be getting out a Sudoku puzzle, or wander downstairs to see what was on the Sci-Fi Channel. It's one of the things the kids caught onto very early in our relationship. They would walk into the room, where I would be sitting next to Michael "enjoying" an action or science fiction movie. The first thing out of their mouths would be, "obviously you picked this movie Mike, my dad would never watch this on his own."
Funny the things we do for love.
These days I don't watch too much television at all. Or, if I do, it's on without the sound. My mind is always too occupied with thoughts of absence, Michael's absence. During these past two months this laptop has become a permanent fixture on my lap. It's like a part of my body. I sometimes worry that it is becoming my surrogate for Michael. I can talk to it, talk through it. It gives me an immediate tactile response as I type my thoughts and feelings. If only it could grow arms, put them around me at night, and breathe softly against my face.
Some nights my 11 year old can't sleep, and comes down to crawl into my bed. He asked me one night why I have pillows stretched out beside me at night. Before I could respond he answered his own question. "It's to help you sleep without Mike, isn't it." Yes, I've tried everything. I've sprayed his cologne in the room, put on his favorite music, worn his favorite t-shirts, held the pocket-watch he gave me next to my ear, re-read cards and notes, lit votive candles by his urn, breathed deep into our comforter and stroked his side of the bed. Like this laptop, each of these give me minimal sensory responses.
I know that as I sit here with this movie playing in the background, that I am going to be left with a sense of longing. The storyline is centered around romance, pain and loss. The alternative is a "Mike" movie, which will distract me for the same period of time, but will also leave me longing for him. This is what keeps me up at night. No matter what I do, no matter how I occupy my day, I end each night the same.
I end each night without Michael.
I brush my teeth without Michael. I get into bed without Michael. I warm the sheets without Michael. I lie awake without Michael. I eventually fall asleep without Michael. I wake up without Michael. I eat breakfast without Michael. I parent the kids without Michael. I take out the trash without Michael. I play with the dog and cat without Michael. I go through the mail without Michael. I cook dinner without Michael. I eat at the table without Michael. I watch television without Michael. I eat ice-cream without Michael, I brush my teeth without Michael.
I get into bed without Michael.
I end the night without Michael.
I just remembered how this movie is going to end. I should have picked a Mike movie.