Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace
Baby, I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace
Recovering from an acute illness can be brutal. There have been times, over the past week, where I can't recall ever having felt worse. Of course I probably have, but I can't recall. My head is foggy. Thinking is difficult.
Sleeping, which is always something I've had trouble with, is worse. I've been up every night: sometimes coughing apoplectically, sometimes dashing to the toilet, sometimes choking and having to grab water, or vomiting into the kitchen sink. Waking up is vague - getting up even more so. Today I managed to get dressed in good time, which is a small victory in itself.
I can't even pleasure myself correctly. I tried to construct a scene in my head yesterday. It worked well enough, but fell apart as soon as I realised the music was all wrong. With this desperate, ragged breathing, and severe chest and back pain, sex is also out of the question.
Last night, I straightened the sheets before getting into bed.
It made a world of difference. Rather than just sitting there and pulling the dishevelled heap of duvet over, I made the effort (yes, I know - but there was effort involved, trust me), and straightened everything out. Half the duvet each. Two pillows each. Everything, basically, as it should be. I didn't honestly think, initially, that this would make much of a difference - it was just something to do while tidying - but then I actually got into bed...
...and it was glorious. Effortless in its simplicity. No uncomfortable pillow positions. None of the chilly lack of duvet or the overabundant constriction of too much. No blue screens, or mindless television patter, or distractions. Just the bed, and myself, and her.
I haven't been able to hold her too much in the past week, either. She is, also, unwell; we are both feeling tender. Money and housing worries are pressing down on us, and with the constant flow of our jobs causing occasional absences (and not really aiding our health), it has been difficult. I have missed her warmth. I have missed holding her close. It is simple, but it's the sensation that I miss. I can lie there gasping for air, or regulate my breathing to stop the sound I appear to be making like a cross between a banshee and the Nazgûl. Maybe it's healthier to be up and about. But in the middle of the night, sick or not, all I need is her.
And, for the rest of the night, that was all. I had to get up a few times, but every time, I knew that when I slipped back into bed, it would be full of her warmth. I knew that I had space to relax - rest my tired body even if my brain refused to do so - and that I would be mere inches from her, as well.
Last night I slept in a pool of warmth and love.
I'm not better. But I felt it.