We closed down the bar, went back to my place and did all the predictable things.
At about 4 in the morning I said, I am going to bed now and that sleep is the way I choose to manage pain. She decided she wasn’t sleepy and stayed up to watch Office re-runs and later slipped into bed. Her legs were skinny brown pillows between my arms.
She tossed, turned and rolled around and made funny noises. When the sun poked through the shades, we were both still awake.
She started asking questions like did I believe in past lives and fairies and horoscopes. I told her I didn’t believe in much of anything and that I was very sleepy. She said that life is too short to sleep on low thread-count sheets. She told me I had an interesting nose and that my hands were small and asked if I was always this quiet. I said, yes I was. She asked me why I didn’t talk much and I told her that I didn’t usually have much to say and that I was very sleepy. She said that sleep was just a sorry substitute for caffeine.
She stared into the green sparkle of the morning fish tank. She said the red Beta reflections on the wall reminded her of home. She said she was hungry. I said I didn’t have any food, but she persisted so I stole an apple from my roommate. She found some of my poems and read them and asked me what they meant. I told her I didn’t know. She found my guitar and sat on my bed and played a Creedence song and sang in a crackle heavy voice about fairies and past lives. I said that’s nice, but I am very very sleepy and have to go to work soon. She said that life is something that happens when you can’t get to sleep.
She played another song and then another and then a few more, and finally stopped and turned on my computer to check her e-mail. She spoke to the screen as she read her mail and opened attachments. I took a shower and when I came out, she was still there and asked if I wanted a ride to work. I told her no thank you, I will walk.
I took her number and told her I would call later.
As I watched her car disappear around a corner, the world seemed a much better place. I suddenly remembered that being lonely wasn’t as bad as a lot of things.