13

I’ve been sleeping around and I’m exhausted

I vacated our marital bed two weeks ago after my husband underwent surgery to remove a growth in his ear. Neither of us slept much the night after the mastoidectomy. Peter was hyped up on steroids given to reduce swelling and catching up on all the cigarettes he couldn’t smoke during his ten hours in the hospital. I kept getting up to make sure he wasn’t bleeding to death. I ended up dozing in our recliner.

When Peter finally crashed the following evening, I cautiously joined him in bed. The next morning, Peter encouraged my exodus.

“Every time you moved, the pillow bumped my ear.”

Fine. He snores.

Since getting kicked out of bed, I’ve been exploring all the alternatives available in our house. This would be easier if everyone else would fall asleep and stay asleep.

Most nights my son nods off on the couch. That leaves his bed with its too-short blanket vacant. I snooze there until Philip wakes, usually around 2:00 am, turns on his bedroom light, and decides he wants to be in his own bed. I always think it’s sweet when he wants me to stay until I get one too many elbows in the neck. I extricate myself and go to the couch. If I’m lucky, Philip lets me stay there. If not, he pulls me back to his room where I spend the rest of the night on his floor using his overstuffed teddy bear as a pillow.

Other nights Philip falls asleep in his bed. While the blanket on the couch is longer and warmer, the living room is noisier. The humming of Peter’s computer, the whir of the refrigerator and the gurgling of the fish tank combine in a cacophony that keeps me awake. I lie there thinking that I hear Philip stirring in his room. I’ll tiptoe down the hall to check, freezing when I hit the creaky spot. I peek in and find him unmoving. Unfortunately, my investigation has awakened the dog, so I have to pet him or be subjected to his whining in my ear or his tongue across my cheek.

Let’s say I manage to appease the dog, tune out the white noise and fall asleep. Peter has dibs on our bed, but it doesn’t mean he uses it. Pain wakes him up. He’ll pop a Percocet, but he may or may not return to bed. It depends on how much discomfort he’s in, how early he went to bed, and how much napping he did during the day. If he stays up, he sits at his desk in the living room or relaxes on the couch. We can’t both use the couch, so I have to find a different place to catch some shut-eye.

Peter’s getting out of bed awakens me briefly no matter where I am, but I can usually fall back asleep. The guest bedroom, despite its groaning mattress, offers me the best respite. Philip and Roscoe so far haven’t sought me out when I sack out there. But then, when Peter can’t sleep and decides to watch TV, I’m out of luck. Surgery has actually made his hearing worse, so he turns the volume up to binge-watch home renovation shows. And then I’m awake. Or I’m asleep, but worn out from nightmares of crumbling foundations or hidden knob and tube wiring.

Maybe soon I’ll be back in my own bed, resting comfortably under the weight of our warm, red comforter. I’d dream about that day if only I could get some damn sleep.

2

Sunday Slideshow: Fall Foliage Tour

On the Friday before his surgery, Peter was craving chocolate cake. After figuring out that I live closer to a city than I thought I did, I drove there to find a grocery store. I located a store, but no cake.  However, I did find brownies and a bunch of green signs posted along the road that read “Fall Foliage Tour.” A quick Google search helped me discover that the signs referred to the Medina County Fall Foliage tour, an annual event that started in 1968.

There were nine tour hosts and six points of interests included in this year’s event. Since we had gone on a farm tour the day before, we selected the five closest sites to visit. I didn’t get photos of the newly remodeled Lodi Library or of a Mack’s Food Center, but here are a few of snapshots of our afternoon.

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Linking up with the yeah write #185 weekend writing showcase

21

table manners

Small hands danced beside the dinner plate as if in conversation. Index fingers curled then extended while the other fingertips stood tall on Formica.

“No elephants at the table, please,” said Mother.

Each sounded a final trumpet before retreating to a lap.

2

yeah write November writing contest

yeah write

My favorite online community, yeah write, has undergone some changes this fall. The site has had a sleek makeover, prompts have been made optional for everything but the microstory challenge, all challenge submissions are moderated, the schedule was adjusted to allow writers more time to craft their best stories and readers more time to vote thoughtfully, and the fiction/poetry challenge has come back home to the main site. To celebrate that homecoming and to attract the best writers to the site, yeah write is hosting a writing contest beginning November 2.

Don’t think you have what it takes to win? Don’t be so sure. This is a two-part competition. Not only will the best writer win the $200 cash prize, but the person who refers the winner can win $200, too! All winners must be subscribers. To subscribe and find out more details, visit the contest page today.