By Jared Waugh
It is the nighttime, the hour unknown and I am cold. Tossing and turning relentlessly, eventually I curl into a ball, into the most fetal position, attempting to keep out the cold, hoping that the warm memories associated with such a position will accomplish the task. It does not. Tossing and turning relentlessly, trying to drive Back both memories and fears of what has happened, And the imaginings and fear of what could happen. Things completely out of my control, yet at the same time, my sole responsibility. Tossing and turning relentlessly, trying to ignore the accusatory voices of people I have never met, their imagined voices, take twisted shapes and prominence in my mind. Tossing and turning relentlessly, Until I see you. Not the entirety of you, only the back of your head, a dark blue outline covered with your wild, unkempt hair, the rest of you covered in the sheets of the bed we share. so I lay there, trying to bring forth the memories of laughing, of crying, of being with you, as well as the fear of your absence from any one of those memories. They go hand-in-hand. Then I hear you. Not your voice, not a sleep-ridden mumble, but your steady breath. In and out. The most natural, unrepressed sound you can make, the most relieving sound I could hear Then I think. You, too, must have had nights like this. The Nighttime. The hour unknown. Tossing and turning relentlessly. That you, too, have your fears, your guilt, your recollections, and your feelings of being cold. That, perhaps, if I dare think so highly of myself, you have taken comfort in the thought of me. My Presence. My steady breath. Your memories of You and I. I realize that I am not alone in feeling lonely. I never have been. You fear and regret, just as I do, and I love you even more for it. I could remain cold forever, if you were there to warm me. I could stand against a relentless sea of voices forever, if yours stood out against the rest. I could look back forever, if you were there in my recollection. I could toss and turn forever, if I wound up facing you. I could lay in darkness forever, if I could also lay facing you. Yes, yes. I would do all this, and what’s more, I would do the same for you.