I woke intermittently this morning, beeped awake by my dying cellphone, but not awake enough to want to go put it out of its misery. (Confidential to Motorola: What is it with you and the insistent beepery? One death-beep would be enough of a courtesy announcement for my taste. And your insistence on beeping every minute for eternity after a missed call? Friend, it borders on the pathetically needy. This is the kind of behavior that pushes people away. I missed that call because I am busy, not because I don’t esteem you highly. I’ll check the message when I am next at liberty to pick up the phone, okay?) From this, you can tell that Sugar is not home, as she thinks clearly enough even in the morning to know the phone won’t stop on its own. She would have tracked it down, turned it off, and returned to bed after the first beep.
Alas, she rose even before the beeping began, graciously only half-waking me for a kiss, and rode off to a conference in a near-enough city that she’ll be home late tonight, her department sparing the cost of a hotel and sparing me the wakefulness of a night alone.
I would make a terrible single person. On Sugar’s longer trips (She is sent to Africa from time to time, which is very glamorous in principle and sometimes in fact.), I start out well enough. I decide that living alone is no reason not to live well. I keep the house clean. I assemble fresh food and make a first dinner worthy of serving to guests, just for me. This state lasts for one day, maybe two. After that, it’s Annie’s Mac and Cheese, late night cereal, books and computer strewn across the bed. I always sleep on her side to pretend she’s here and I’m gone.
A Saturday alone is not much better, it seems. Already I’ve burnt the toast and my fingers. I should be vigorously striding home from the farmers’ market or pottering about our community garden bed or at least beginning my Great American Novel, but instead I am in slippers, my braid still rough from sleep.
I love her, that’s all, and I’m not myself without her.