3:30am, I stir in my sleep. Maybe he came to bed already? But my outstretched arm feels no warm body and finds only a cold empty space…..again.
I can see light dancing on the wall downstairs, reflecting the muted TV’s flickering images. I slip from my bed and quietly make my way to the living room. As I approach the sofa I already know the scene that awaits. There bathed in the light of the television he is slumped, passed out, vodka spilled across his lap while still clinging to the empty glass. I take a moment to regard this sight putting aside the conflict of emotions I am experiencing (pity, sorrow, anger) and take care of the situation. He looks so vulnerable, almost fragile, and I curse the demons that haunt him so.
Leaning forward I take the glass in my left hand and gently touch his leg with my right. "Honey....babe....come to bed” I speak softly so as not to startle him. The grip on his glass grows tight and he groans some incomprehensible words of objection. I make my appeal again “its 3:30....come to bed”. This time his eyes open briefly, he utters, “I’ll be right there” and closes his eyes again.
Knowing that he will not "be right there" I turn off the TV, feeling helpless and hopeless I admit defeat and retreat upstairs. At some point between 3:30am and the time morning comes he will have found his way to bed; too drunk to be troubled by the horrific nightmares of the combat veteran.
Sleep well my love, sleep well.