Sunday morning, at 1:30am, I awoke. It wasn't that sudden leap to consciousness but, rather, the eyes that open seconds before you realize you're awake. That's the one to watch out for; when that happens, you know you'll be up for a while. So, I crept out of bed. Vicky didn't notice. As light a sleeper as she might be, I've become a lighter sneaker.
And, so, I snuck outside to finish off a box of cloves. Well, there was only one left. I sat out on the swing, lit it, took two big puffs and reclined back... right in view of the moon.
The moon... Those of you who've known me for a while probably remember what it is about the moon. Many years ago, it belonged to Rosa and I. Then, last Thanksgiving, I was able to face it again. Now, I'm looking down the road at a life with Vicky, a life I'm hoping lasts significantly longer than the last time I was married. Oh, make no doubt about it, divorce means death. I died when I lost Rosa and I had to make a new life for myself. As long as that took, I'm doing it again. No wonder they say that moving and marriage is so stressful; you're tearing down one life and building another.
I looked up at the moon. It was a big, fat moon, the kind of moon that you could pop with a pin and it would rain down moonbeams... a flood of 'em. But I didn't want to do that without Vicky there, so I kept my cig low, lest I pop it. I just sat there for a long time and gazed at that fat moon.
Soon, the clove was finished. I put it out and when inside to read, which I did for far too long and was tired all Sunday long.
As I've said to Vicky so many times, sleep and I have never been the best of friends. I don't doubt that I'll have sleepless nights as long as I live. Sometimes, that can be a real bitch. But there are times when I don't mind it, times when I can look over at Vicky and talk to her without her having to come back at me with her faux-Ken inquisitiveness, analysis, pain-in-the-assidness... when I can just tell her how I feel and not worry about her knowing. Because there's so much I don't want her to know... Right now, it's about my fears and my pain... but it goes back farther than that.
It seems my subconscious mind has been working for some time to get rid of those threads from my past life that I'm better rid of. I remember debating for years - literally, years - how to get rid of my wedding ring from my first marriage. For years, it sat in my top dresser drawer as I wondered if I should take the practical route (pawn it) or symbolic route (throw it into the ocean). Then, one morning, it was gone. It had been removed, gotten rid of, and all I can figure is that I did it in my sleep.
And so it was last week when I was packing my memories of Ken & Rosa, of the years between 1985 and 2000, into a box, that I found more evidence of my walking sleep. I'd stripped the memories down bare, throwing away about 90% of what I'd saved. Before I finished, though, I would take one more thing out and put one more thing in.
The thing I was taking out was a wooden sign, a plank about three feet long. It read "Ken & Rosa's Place" and I'd had it made especially as a house-warming gift for Rosa when we'd moved into our home. She hated it. It had never been hung outside as I would have liked. But I held on to it, hoping it would be one day. After the marriage was over, I held on to it, hoping that one day I'd return home. It took me four years to realize that place was no longer my home. Then, I held on to the sign as a memory. But now, I don't even want it for that and I can't help but think how well it will burn next weekend, when I visit Tim down in San Diego and we contribute it to someone's bonfire. (Something will be committed to the ocean, even if it's not my ring!)
The thing I was going to put in the box was the video of the day I wed Rosa. It showed that tiny wedding like a jewelry loop shows tiny imperfections amidst grand beauty. And Rosa was beautiful that day, even as you could see the germs of her distance that would lead to our demise. It showed me so nervous, I couldn't stop talking to the camera. Imagine that! Me, Ken, going on and on and on and on... believe me, it really happened! It caught my dad, after the service in the tiny, little church, whipping out his checkbook to pay the organist. It showed me just how young my brothers, Dwight and Richard were. Our only guests, my friends Sean and Rob, appeared here and there. It was the beginning of a road that brought me injury after injury both physical and emotional... there was no way to know, then... And so, I went to pack the videos, for I had two copies, and... you know what? They were gone!
I looked everywhere in my apartment, everywhere you could cram a tape, but - nothing! Again, it seemed, I had walked in the night and done something I could never do awake. Somehow, I knew in my sleep that those should remain memories only to those who'd been there. It was the recording of the dead. Best they remain dead.
And so it goes...
Mind you, in two weeks, when I begin moving, you never know what might happen when I pull out my sofa or pull a bookcase from against a wall. What will I do if I find the treasures of my sleeping walks lying there?
I guess I'll plan another trip to the beach.