The Way it Was

I’m watching you sleep. You lie there in bed dreaming. Or, maybe your mind is blank. You breathe lightly. No noises. It is silent. I want to watch you more, but, it feels as though I’m intruding. Doing something I should not do. Watching my wife sleep in a king size bed. You seem at peace.

We used to sleep together. I say sleep. I slept while you tossed and turned, shoving me and pushing me in the back. You would say I was too loud. My snoring kept you up all night. My breathing, stopping momentarily when I was on my back. That scared you. You would wake me and tell me I was doing it again. Sleeping with my mouth open and no air coming in, or, out. Just lying there still like a corpse. A big fat dead body. Next to you, but far away. You’d tell me to go to the other room and sleep. You’re really loud tonight, you would say in a frustrated voice. Go to the other room and sleep on your side, you told me. Don’t sleep on your back. That’s a death sentence. Go on. Go, you said. I have to get some sleep. Just go.

But, I didn’t go to bed. I stood there in the doorway watching you sleep; dream. All night long till the sun came up. Just before the alarm going off. I don’t want to get caught. I don’t want to be seen looking at my wife. Too many questions and I would have to lie. Telling you I just woke up. Saying I slept fine in the spare bedroom. That’s what I would have said had I been caught. All these lies.

Downstairs in the kitchen I fumble through the cabinets looking for coffee filters. Every morning I make coffee, but, today everything seems off. The filters are not in the right place. The coffee has been moved too. There’s already water in the coffee maker. I don’t remember puting it in there. My memory is starting to slip. Sometimes I forget where I’m at. I forget that I share this house with you. It seems as though we live opposite lives. Separate lives. We are far apart. We’re growing farther apart.

I think you want to leave me. End this. And, I don’t blame you. I was never good at being a husband. My gluttony has got in the way. Everything done to excess. You should file the papers. End this. You’re the brave one. Always were. I see you standing there in your track suit. Ready for your daily run. We have nothing in common anymore. We are roommates who split rent and utilities. Coffee is ready, I say to you. You shake your head. Telling me you have to run first. You say every day it’s the same thing; you run then come home and drink coffee. I keep forgetting.

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