My dears, I know you think I am posting but it’s actually a magic pixie who is posting on my behalf while I am away for work. That’s why if any of you have been kind enough to comment I have not yet replied. I am thinking of you all, though, never fear. Be brave, I’ll be home for the weekend.
I dislike being away from home. I have moaned about it often enough. However, it occurred to me the other day that what I actually dislike is waking up alone.
The reason that startling revelation hit my consciousness was that last weekend I had a bug. Not a software bug, a proper virus. No, not a computer virus… A mean little germ got into my guts, settled down, had descendants and it resulted in me with my head down the loo at 3 am and periodically thereafter until the internal wars of digestion had seen me ultimately victorious and employing a full and healthy set of antibodies to send that old germ packing like the Swiss Guard at the Sack of Rome.
During this period Sigoth exhibited the better sign of valour and ministered to my every need from a safe distance to make sure he didn’t fall foul of the same bug. Very sensible of him really. We can’t afford to have both of us laid up because of the mother.
I still didn’t like waking up without the chance of a snuggle. Just a few precious minutes before the next busy day begins is all I ask.
When I am away I wake up alone. I often wake up alone at 3 am just because it’s not my bed and not my room and not my village. There are cars and party goers outside and random guests in the corridor and air-con gurgling. None of these noises help me sleep like a baby, except that babies often sleep by waking up at intervals and yelling for comfort. I don’t yell but neither do I tend to go back to sleep.
It happens sometimes when I sleep in at home and Sigoth gets up early, usually when I have been away and not slept well for a few days and need to catch up. Then I wake up in the luxury of my own bed, and roll over to find a big empty space that should be full of snoring Sigoth. There are times I fall asleep in my own bed before he comes up at night and wake up in the morning after he had gone downstairs and I am disoriented by solitude. My fuzzy brain wonders if it’s the future and I am alone forever; whether he is ill, or has died, and I’ve forgotten; whether he left me for some reason I cannot quite bring to mind or have blocked out; whether he no longer cares. My desperately accumulated sense of being safe and happy and at peace is shattered in a moment of uncertainty and I begin to suspect I have been fooling myself for thinking anyone would stay with me.
I hear a sound, turn my head, and there he is with a tray of tea and a crossword, and the angels are blowing trumpets on the landing and turning cartwheels in the bathroom because he is back. Fireworks roar across the ceiling, exploding by the wardrobe and drowning out the dove burbling at the top of the chimney. Choirs reach a crescendo and the crowds dance in the street. There is the end of war and famine and sickness and poverty. The whale is saved. Hell, every last endangered arachnid and crustacean is saved while we’re at it, even the ugly ones. The sun has got his hat on.