My bed is not, strictly speaking, empty. For one thing, I have a small mountain of pillows on it. There is also a small stuffed bear, which had arrived with roses to commemorate a year of togetherness. And, of course, I’m in it, and I like to sleep in the middle anyway.
My bed is very soft (Hernán hates this bed); it’s very easy to sink into it. It’s very easy to tell if there is anyone else on it. Hernán and I go long stretches–very long–without being physically with each other. Sleeping alone is normal. And, normally, it doesn’t actively bother me, not to the point of disturbance. It’s another step in the long, slow trudge to daily togetherness. We’ll get there. We are getting there. It’s enough comfort to let me rest.
But, the inevitable night comes when I am tired of waiting and the next visit, no matter how close, isn’t close enough. “I’m just going to pretend you’re here,” I tell him, “just out of reach on the other side of the bed.” I bid him goodnight, and hope he isn’t worrying about me. There is no pretending he’s just out of my reach, though. There’s no breath, no weight on the mattress. When he’s here, he’s never out of reach.
I’m not unhappy, really. I know he’s an IM away in the morning, that I’ll see him soon and that, even though he isn’t present, we’re still in it together. I don’t know about the idea that one’s mate completes one. If I am complete, it’s my own growth and experience that has made me so. If you aren’t spending your time trying to figure how to make a completeness split into two bodies work, then you can find much more in your mate–safety, comfort, support, affection. As sad as I get from time to time, it is not “the worst” feeling. Comfort and support are always there, because he’s committed himself to providing them to me.
So, another day, another step, and attempts to focus on the positives (at least the stuff bear doesn’t snore). Soon we’ll have a whole new set of concerns. The space between us is there for now, but it won’t be always. I do wish, though, that they would have figured out the whole transdimensional portal thing out by now.