Sleepless in North Fort Myers

4 03 2010

I couldn’t sleep for most of the night.  I laid there staring at my husband, reaching out to feel for the rise of his chest when his breaths couldn’t be heard, my eyes popping widely with each cough or groan.  Last night as we sat watching television he began to choke on his coffee and as his skin tone changed from flesh to red to shades of blue – I stood transfixed, uncertain of what to do as I watched our life together flash past my mind’s eye.  Our first kiss, the first I love you, his arms around me, the way my arm tingles when he holds my hand, our first fight, our first make up, our first time, the night he proposed, his smile, his nose, his eyes, our practise wedding dance, our honeymoon, his laugh – the idea of that all being gone is so terrifying a thought.

The choking lasted for just under a minute and he would tell me later his holding in the mouthful of coffee that made the whole situation worse was just to spare possibly spewing it onto the television screen.  After he turned a bluish indigo shade, he blacked out, but from where I stood with tears streaming I saw his head tilt forward and all breathing and choking sounds cease.

Naturally, I worry without any prompts.  It’s what I do.

Glenn isn’t my age, he’s thirteen years my senior and while he acts my age or younger and most people don’t realize the age difference is so broad – in terms of health and mortality, I am very aware of it.  I know his father died suddenly of a heart attack in the middle of the day at 57, and I know his family tells me he looks and acts so much like his father.  My own father passed at the age of 54.  The young and middle aged are not immune to the chance of death.  And when I think of the fact that I will very likely outlive my husband even if he lives to be 100, that idea terrifies me.

I’ve not had many serious relationships.  I had two serious boyfriends during my school years.  I married within a year of my high school graduation and fled the scene of that tragic trainwreck of a relationship within the first five years with no regrets.  I involved myself in a relationship that was little more than the cohabitation of two people, emotionally wounded, feeding off of the strengths of the other.  I left that within three years and spent the next three years avoiding men.  I had the random date with men my friends thought were just perfect or flirtatious moment via the pixels and safety of my monitor, but by and large I avoided commitment.  My longest relationship lasted a month and it was with a man who was saving himself for marriage whilst practising homosexuality outside of our courtship.

When Glenn and I first became friends, I can’t even recall.  I just remember a good friend pointing out to me that I was being rather blind to the advances of this man who clearly had a thing for me.  I never initially planned to forgo my independence and solitude for him, but it’s damn hard to resist those eyes of his and the softness of his voice.

As I laid in bed the wee hours of dawn today, I stared at him, noting his every feature into some mental picture to be saved in case it was the last look.  My mind replayed the conversations we have had until I tried to lull myself to sleep recounting his explanations of his work (which while I know nothing about cars or engines or tractors, I hang on his words of u-joints and cylinders and mounts as though they mean something to me).  I fell asleep sometime after 4 am only to jolt upright at 6 am to check him for breathing.

Why am I so paranoid?

The easy answers are that I love him and I care and I don’t want to be without him.  The more honest answer is I know no one could ever treat me near as good as he.  The truth is that he treats me better than I deserve and I will spend a lifetime trying to repay him his love and I’ll never succeed.  The difficult answer is I have lost so many people in my life that I worry when the universe will pick up where it left off in its cruelty and take from me the only man I’ve ever truly loved enough to hate, though hate him I never could.

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2 responses

4 03 2010
Jeanne

Beautiful, I know exactly how you feel.

20 05 2010
protogere

Thank you Jeanne.

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