My eyes are dry, and I’ve been up
all night fighting with myself over
what to do next. I can hear my neighbors
run their toothbrushes under their taps, and
pry the stubborn plastic lids off their
pill bottles. She is in my bed without me,
dead asleep after the brief setback of
making herself cry. It’s just a thing that
happens when she reads something
sad before she dreams, and I’m not very
good at making people feel better at a
moments notice. We are both waiting for
it to be the beginning of the day again, and
even though the sun is up I don’t want to
peel myself off the couch and wake her.
I hope she’s having good dreams though, in spite
of everything else. She deserves them
for putting up with me, and all the sand
that falls from my clothes when I get home
at night. I stick my hand into one of the piles
near me; grabbing a handful and holding it
over my face. I let it all fall slowly into my
eyes, and the burn makes me yawn and unhook
my jaw. Stumbling into the room, I lie down
beside her while the coarseness behind my eyes
sends me to sleep.

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