I’ve never felt as alone in the night as I do at present; trying to sleep through extreme heat, in a foreign country, means my body lies on top of the sheet like a bare foetus in an incubator. Or perhaps a stray dog, sleeping on a street corner in a third world country; alone, snuggling up to only itself on the dusty floor. For the first time, I feel for these creatures. If anything, I feel I can relate.
How many people are there around the world who lie alone at night? How many combined hours must mankind spend like this each week, each month? I wonder what proportion of these feel the same emptiness I’m starting to feel? We spend half our lives asleep. We could potentially spend half our lives alone…
Looking back through my years I see a pattern: I seem to have never liked sleeping alone. I’d offer my bed to friends, to strangers, hell, once upon a time, I’d pull (just to pass out when we got down to doing the deed!) I always figured it was part of being young/growing up (…or the obvious effects of alcohol…) but perhaps it was rooted to subconsciously wanting someone there… Do humans instinctively crave companionship? Does it make us feel complete? Can we truly be happy if physically alone?
As I close my eyes to the sound of Ed Sheeran’s Photograph on my cracked iPod I try to remind myself that my life is filled with love and that I’m at least out here, alone, by choice. Thousands of miles away lies the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend. He patiently lies alone waiting for my return next year; a beautiful sentiment, a wonderful feeling.
I do feel richer having an incredibly beautiful person in my life. So much richer. And even though we’re so far apart, I take comfort in the knowledge that I’ll have the rest of my life by his side.
That said, night after night of lying in a windowless room, without so much as a plump duvet nor a mountain of cool clean pillows, doesn’t half emphasise the reality of what I’m doing. I feel like a sleeping new-born baby, counting down the days ’til it gets picked up and smothered with love.
Roll on April 2016; an apparent lifetime away at present.