I’m working too much. I don’t stop because I love what I’m doing. I love being flooded with ideas, words and images. I love fashioning them like a seamstress to fit the page. I finish a piece of writing but there is no rest, my mind goes to the next and the next with excitement and wonder. I am a slave to the muse. I have kissed her face and eaten her ambrosia. I would follow her anywhere.
I stopped sleeping months ago. Midnight to three is typical, midnight to five is better. Today I slept from midnight to seven, which rarely happens. I envy the young who sleep for hours, needing to be called into the day. If I stay up past midnight my body decides it’s a new day and gives me a fresh burst of energy, then I’m really in trouble.
Gib is working long hours as well. He plays tennis at eight, runs the pallet company until three, then leaves to coach at the high school. He comes home after dark with more work to do and too much on his mind.
We live like spinning tops swirling in and out of the same circle, but sometimes as he lies on the couch looking into his laptop, and I make my way toward my own pile of work, I’ll pause near the edge of the sofa. His silver hair spreads out just enough to grab my attention; I remember, stop and touch.
I’ll run my fingers against his scalp, gently pull on his long hair and move my hands along his brow. That’s all it takes. His body moves to meet me, his eyes close and his expression changes from one of worry to a deep and welcome letting go. It’s only a moment, but it saves us. We remember and rekindle who we are together.
The moment is broken when I ask his advice, or shake my head in wonder as I glance into the kitchen.
You’re constitutionally incapable of closing a cupboard door, aren’t you?
He smiles, looking at the evidence of his absent-minded path. I never seem to learn, do I?
My oldest sister, Mary Ann, once told me that men are like loyal dogs. I thought that was demeaning and offensive at the time, but the longer Gib and I are together, the more I take her point. A good scratch behind the ears and all is back on track.