I’m only now realizing that the Fitbit keeps track of when I fall asleep, when I get outta bed, and all the times I wake up through the night — which is apparently a lot. Over the course of even a prodigiously restful night I seem to spend nearly an hour lying awake.
I used to know I was doing this whenever my ex would spend the night because my car got broken into three times in the first week of July — sorry if I’ve talked about this as exhaustively on the blog as I have in conversation — and the ex’s car got towed once cuz she parked in the wrong place. My parking situation is a headache.
Anyway. I asked her to start parking in the camera-surveiled parking lot of the Honda dealership next door to my building. Problem is, if her car’s there when they open at 6 a.m., it gets towed.
Much as she volunteered to move it herself, she slept like a rock, so every time she spent the night I’d go out super early, move her car outta the Honda lot and over to the street parking (figuring the car was less likely to be fucked with now that the sun was on its way up), and then I’d go back to bed.
Knowing, all night, that I was gonna have to wake up before dawn to go move her car, I’d flinch outta sleep and check the clock every forty minutes or so. There’d be a quick bit of adrenaline, where I was certain for a second that I’d been too negligent and her car’d been either vandalized or towed, and then after checking the clock, seeing it was still 2 a.m. or thereabouts, I’d settle down and go back to sleep.
Figured I was only waking up so often because I had that responsibility looming over me all night.
But the ex is gone now and the sleep thing apparently still happens. Maybe it’s always happened. And now that I’m noticing it on the Fitbit reports every morning (along with the amounts of time spent in light sleep and REM), I’ve started acknowledging it to myself, whenever I wake up between midnight and 5 a.m., “Oh hey,” and I look around for a bit, “I’m awake.”
And I kinda like it.
Here’s how it goes: It’s 3 a.m. and I open my eyes. Reflect on whatever I just dreamt, take inventory of how tranquil everything is, look at the clock and the skyline, lay a hand on the dog, feel his slow sleeping breaths underhand. Little ribcage expanding, sinking, expanding. Think my thoughts.
It’s nice. The stillness.
And it’s nice when occasionally someone spends the night and you look over at them and think, “This is the two of us together,” except you’re alone as you think it. Look over at someone sleeping beside you in those pale yellowblue stripes of streetlamps and moonlight, halfdressed with tangled hair and makeup wiped away, resting here in your little private space, where they’ve welcomed you to the sight of them but don’t know if you’re looking, their body less on display than simply inhabited, warm and whirring and softly thumping and there, if you please, for the touching.
All that meditative quiet. Nobody expecting anything of you. No texts coming in.
A nice quick reminder that it all does come to a pause now and then.
I make note of that. Pull the sheets up and turn over and fall asleep and do the same thing over forty minutes later.