Another day ends, and he is still away.
I never sleep well when he’s gone. I mean, I sleep, but I hate the end of the day. There’s the feeling that something else needs to be done, that I should stay up and wait. Something’s unfinished.
I never grew out of my fear of the dark; I’m not a night person. I prefer to go to bed early, only see an hour or two of darkness before I can shut out the darkness with sleep. When he’s gone I stay up late, until midnight or beyond. I wake up, hungover from not enough sleep, grateful to have the night behind me.
Nothing good happens at nighttime. It makes me feel better, safer, whole, when he is here, when our family is complete.
In the summer it’s easier. Responsibilities are fewer, daily activities looser. Everyone goes on vacation, kids sleep in. There is no schedule. Days are long; the sun sets later and the sky stays light for a while after. Fifteen official hours of daylight today. Fifteen hours to fill with bike rides, TV, having friends over, writing, making crafts, reading, baseball, housework, eating meals, and distracting myself from thinking about what is coming.
The sun will set again over our house and our family, minus one.
Nine hours of darkness after the sun sets may as well be fifteen, twenty, ninety.
It’s irregular, the traveling. I’m used to it; we all are. I like the simplicity of having one less person to care for, but it makes the coming together difficult; we live on different wavelengths and it takes time to assimilate, to reconvene. Sometimes the weekend isn’t enough and time goes by with a low hum of tension running through everything we do.
But it’s what life looks like now. We, like everyone else, are doing the best we can. It’s not ideal, but it works out, mostly. I can bear an hour or two less of sleep a few nights a month. I will survive waiting out the darkness.
He’s gone for now, but like the sun, he’ll be back soon.
This post inspired by:
Prompt #3: A blog post inspired by the words: setting sun