Sunday, at around 1:30 pm, the boyfriend and I retired to his bedroom for a little naptime. It’s one of the things we have consistently done and agreed upon since the day we met. Naps are very important to both of us.
Some people don’t believe in them. They say taking one disrupts their day and that they would rather sleep at night. They won’t take one because they wake up crabby.
To each their own.
I enjoy my naps. I believe in their restorative powers. Always have.
They are a marvelous means of rebooting your day; if you are in a bad mood or have need to escape. I don’t think it’s a coward’s way or the lazy man’s way out. I think it’s smart.
Working out at the gym has this same effect on me, only not as restful.
Admittedly, sometimes I struggle to turn off my head. Matters of scheduling, transitions, and logistics frequently loom forward, taking up the space cleared for sleep. Other times, I will slip into revisiting an issue from the past, trying to rewrite parts of my personal history. The latter is easier to push aside than the former, the present always demanding something of me.
Last Sunday, the first 45 minutes of our nap was consumed this way. Typically, that is the stepping off point for me. I surrender to whatever my schedule demands, get up, and get on with my day.
But something held me in place that afternoon. It had something to do with the way the boyfriend and I were spooning. Even though the boyfriend had drifted off almost as soon as we hit the bed, there was some tangible connection between us that I was hesitant to break.
This frequently happens at night, as well, for we spoon each other, on and off, whenever we sleep together. I’ve never enjoyed this with another man. In the past, people have found my body heat too much to deal with and after a few minutes have passed, they beg off, pushing me away, exiling me to my edge of the bed.
That, or they simply were not into it.
Again, to each their own. But, for me, spooning with someone has long been an unfulfilled need; one (of many things) that the boyfriend and I just happen to mutually satisfy.
We take turns when it comes to whom cups whom. Though, I must say, I like it better when my back is to his front. He possesses a strength that I greatly admire and, for some reason, that arrangement is a physical realization of that quality that I find comforting.
Such is the case last Sunday. My eyes go to the clock at the 45 minute mark. However, I decide not to get up. I don’t have to be anywhere until 3:15, and the moment feels so simpatico that I don’t wish it to end.
Miraculously, I drift off to sleep. When I wake 45 minutes later, we are still in the same position – the same one we started in an hour and a half before.
And I choke up a bit in that moment, between sleeping and waking, because in that moment?
I feel truly loved.
A love I have never experienced anywhere else my entire life.
Not in all the time I once spent on the stage or in darkened theatres. Not in any job I have ever had. Not during the many years I spent being evaluated while in search of an education. And not even from other loves, pets, or family members.
I’ve begun to see myself in a different light. Yes, I am still crabby and prone to frustration…
…but I am really happy.
I look at my life, and, sure, there are things I wish were different, but I’ve not only learned to accept them – I’ve actually begun to embrace them. I don’t need things to change in order to feel complete. I don’t need to do something else or become someone else.
And for the first time in my life, I’m starting to like myself.
It’s that same transition that took place between the moment I accepted being gay and the moment I learned to love being gay.
I’ve long accepted my circumstances and the role I must play in this life. But I never truly loved my life.
Which makes me wonder if I ever truly knew how to love at all?
With the boyfriend? I’ve met my equal. I never believed in that whole ‘missing piece’ thing – and I still don’t.
But I am starting to believe in the power of love.
In the same way that I believe in the power of naps…