Sharing My Bed
Nov 19, 2001
I have to stop and think to remember the last time I shared my bed with someone prior to waking up next to Jeremy yesterday morning.
Over a year. Almost a year and a half.
Guess we should define terms. I’m not saying I haven’t had sex. Sex hasn’t been a problem. There’s even been sex in this particular bed. But sharing the bed - that’s someone staying the night. That’s sleeping next to someone. That’s waking up next to someone and not scrambling for your pants to get out the door. And it’s been a while.
Jeremy and I used to spend a great deal of our free time together. Conversations that would last for hours. On a weekly basis, we’d close the neighborhood bar, walk to my car, leaning against one another for a bit of balance, relieve ourselves in the bushes, then hop in the car, with him in the driver’s seat - since he held his alchohol better than I probably ever will - for the short ride home.
Depending on how I felt when we reached his place, I’d either drive myself the rest of the way home, or crash on his floor - normally the latter.
Occasionally, he’d crash at my place, which had more clutter than open floor space. So we’d both crash on my bed.
Jeremy’s been off at a retreat in the mountains, working as plumber for this colony with no phones, no email, for over half a year now. He plans to stay on another year. We write letters to one another, but the void left by the absence of his companionship is palpable to me. To him, too.
So when he came to town to visit family this weekend, one of the first things he did was call me. We got together that same night. We talked for hours, picking up as if we hadn’t seen each other in days, rather than months. Before we knew it, the waitress was coming by for last call. Then they were flicking the lights to get people to leave. And we still weren’t done with all we had to say.
We made the long walk back to my apartment building, my arm around his shoulders, his arm around my waist.
Jeremy had left town under a personal cloud. His on again-off again, long-term relationship had fallen apart, this time for good. He had spent a number of months living in another friend’s basement, just generally getting drunk and not doing much else.
“Our conversations, you and me closing that bar week after week - that was pretty much all that kept me going, all that got me out and doing something other than just sitting around feeling sorry for myself,” he said. “Flying back into Minneapolis, I realized there’s nothing in this city I miss, nothing I really wanted to come back for, nothing I was looking forward to, but my family. And spending time with you.”
Before we’d struck out that evening for the bar, he asked if it’d be all right to crash at my place - no worries about driving back to his folks’ place or the lateness of the hour that way. Sure, why not?
He was supposed to get up early the next morning and meet some other friends, possibly go rock-climbing. So we set an alarm.
He stripped to his boxer briefs. Me, I pretended to be too out of it to really be able to disrobe. I just kicked off my shoes and flopped into bed, still in my T-shirt, jeans and socks.
We lay there next to one another. I had my back to him.
Then he reached over and pulled me close to him.
And we fell asleep.
Periodically throughout the night, one or the other of us would have to get up to use the toilet (we’d been through several pitchers of beer, after all).
But we’d always settle back in.
The alarm went off, and Jeremy decided he really didn’t need to go anywhere after all. So we slept in about four more hours.
It’s kind of amazing, the level of trust you need to have in a person, or the amount of stuff you have to be willing not to worry about, to let them share your bed.
You’re completely vulnerable.
Watching him sleep that morning, I was struck by how fragile he seemed - even though he’s one of the strongest, most active people I know. In sleep, he was a different creature.
Eventually, we woke. I walked him to his car. We hugged several times, said several goodbyes. It had been too long. And would likely be too long til we saw one another again.
If he wasn’t straight, I’d marry him in a second.
If I were a woman, I’d solve a lot of his problems.
Sharing a bed with someone on a regular basis. I’ve been reminded how nice that could be.
Safe journey, my friend.