My family is away for the weekend. I get home about 11:15. I lingered at the restaurant, looked for little things to do before leaving but eventually the boss chased me out. I take my time driving home then have a slow drive through our neighborhood before I stop in front of my house. I unlock the front door and walk past our sleeping cat, she hesitantly opens her eyes, stretches, rolls over and goes back to sleep. Yet our dog is calling, pawing at her cage, begging to be petted, walked, scratched. These two animals have such a different understanding of time. I let the dog out, attach her leash then we head out the front door. She takes several stops, looking for the right spot, there is much to decide. We take our time. Soon enough we make our way back into the house. She gets a drink of water and I grab a cold beer, slowly undress then stand naked in front of the shower as the water warms up. 11:30 pm. The shower feels great, I brace my hands against the wall then let the water cascade over my head and down my back. I glance in the mirror, flex a bit and realize it’s been ten days since I was in the gym. It shows. I dry off, pull on a pair of pajama pants and grab my beer. I walk past the bed, pull the sheets up, adjust the pillows but it’s not time yet. I walk through the house, checking doors, cleaning the kitchen, do a load of laundry, check the email. I start to fade, I’m nodding off in front of the computer so the dog and I head into the bedroom. She walks a few circles then asks for help getting onto the bed so I oblige. I settle in, adjust the pillows again then fondle the remote control, decide against TV. I squeeze into the covers, adjust the pillow again then reach out for my wife’s pillow, pull it towards me, squeeze it to my chest and breathe deeply. I sense her hair, her skin, her curves. I turn off the light then squeeze the pillow and wait. Her goodnight kiss, her forefinger on my nose as she traces my outline in the darkness, seeking out my lips, her breath as she pulls me close, the tickle of her hair on my face. I’m waiting. In this lonely darkness of our bed, I’m waiting.
I miss you.