On Thursday we had an underwear dance party in the kitchen, then I spent the night in his bed. Late the next afternoon, though you could still consider it the morning after the night before, me and Becky shared our habitual cup of tea, momentarily ignoring the sticky floor and piles of rubbish. Then we curled up with a still-drunk Jay in his bed and laughed hysterically at nothing in particular—laughed into the air, made it vibrate, and cursed the sunset for making the day go dark before we were even ready for it.
Eventually I made a home of my own bed, watched Before Sunrise and admitted to myself how much I think like Céline, who asks, “Isn’t everything we’re doing in life a way to be loved a little more?” and wondered why it is admirable and brave for a man to embrace love but needy and desperate for a woman to. At half one in the morning I was joined by Erica, who gave me her knowing look and spoke to me in her reassuring voice and then sat by my side and listened to Christmas songs in the dark.
It’s strange to think how all our bedrooms are completely identical to begin with, but then transform to adapt to their inhabitants. I think about how much of myself I instill in my own objects and clothes and environment. I think about how much of myself I instill in my own subconscious and send into the vivid dreams I have every night. I read Freud and learn about repressed emotions and how they can manifest themselves in physical pain. I think of how I have tried and tried to plug my stomach and every feeling that dwells there with an imagined cork and how Thursday night was such a welcome release. But it wasn’t idealised; it felt totally normal to be in his bed.
A song came on the radio and I remembered that Angelface, Erica, and I had been singing it last time I saw him. As he was wondering aloud at how big his hands looked on my body, I said, “I sang this to you outside when you were so drunk you were sick!” Understandably, he didn’t remember. There was a patch of sunlight on the wall and he made a shadow dog with his hand. The light moved along our skin.
When I can’t sleep I think of all the things that might be different if I had arrived a day earlier, or two days earlier, or three even. I imagine all the alternative universes, their ribbons of possibilities flowing side by side. In one of them, all my repressed feelings would be completely let loose. I wonder whether that would be a horribly damaging world, or one that made a lot more sense.
When I told him my horoscope, Jay said, “The stars know what they are doing.” Hardly a day goes by that we don’t dance a little around the kitchen, and sometimes I feel, in those moments the most, that everything will be more than fine. ♦