You watch your lover sleep, calm for once. Limbs are tangled; around each other’s, around themselves like the washing you put through the clanking dryer at the Laundromat down the street earlier on today. It feels a little too cliché, like an onstage parody of the perfect sleeping couple; who actually sleeps with their bodies so neatly entwined, so joined in slumber? Most of the couples you know are lucky if they even hold each other while dozing.
But then, you consider, you’ve always been different.
You’re so close you can make out the smooth lines of his peaceful arranged features, even though the almost complete darkness, broken only by the thin strip of neon light permeating the gap in the ugly excuse for curtains that shut your flat off from the outside world…your own safe little cocoon. There’s an unspoken rule between the two of you; nothing touches you in here. And here, within its tatty, worn interior, there are no masks, no apologies. Possibly because this place makes no excuses or apologies for itself. It is unapologetically old, tired and well worn. Who knows who the previous owners may have been, what they might have done with it…they might have even been lying where the two of you now rest, and one of them might have been watching the other in the same sort of entrancement that’s currently splayed across your face…You’ll never know.
You study his shadowed eyes, darkened by a lack of sleep caused by the intense party sessions of the past few days, weeks, months…how long is it since either of you have had a proper night’s rest? You can’t remember, and this scares you a little, the thought of being on such a self-destructive downward spiral that you’ve forgotten something so obvious. To calm yourself, you begin to count his long, dark eyelashes.
His voice is slurred with sleep, the words slipping out as one long, slippery string of syllables. Although his eyes don’t open, the eyelashes you’re so meticulously counting flutter like terrified butterflies in a storm, disrupting your deep concentration on them.
The usual sleepy smirk quirks his perfectly pouted mouth.
You pause, wondering if, by revealing what you were doing to him, you’d freak him out.
[No masks, no apologies.]
He chuckles quietly, then snuggles closer to you, head against your chest in what you can’t deny to be a comforting motion. There’s a beautiful, deep silence for a minute while he seems to be considering this statement to the gentle percussion of your heartbeat.
You’re weird sometimes, y’know.
You smile. He’s so blunt, a quality some would find invariably irritating, but which comes across to you, like most things do to those deeply in love, as an endearing personality trait.
Yeah, I know.
It’s moments like these you would show anyone who wanted to know if the pain and desperation of love was worth going through, you think as you finally drift off into the golden slumber of the lover.