That’s it, that’s what my fingers remind me of, bending and stretching deftly across the keyboard as I try to type as silently as possible.
Hey.. actually.. Why don’t I have a silent keyboard? Do they make such a thing? Should I? Should I make the silent keyboard that will bridge the only recurring sore spot between me and my nearly live-in man? Well, it’d probably require quite a bit of projected financial statements, large prospective clients, and a hefty chunk of capital, all of which would draw me further from the home base I used to guard viciously. Now, I just don’t have the time.
I’ve been kicked out of my own bedroom, by a nearly live-in man who doesn’t pay rent yet. I remind him of that freely, when this issue arises, as it does, once a week.
Before I met O, I had an artist’s job, which is code for going in late, coming home late, eating dinner at midnight, and taking two hour baths at 2 a.m. because “I write better naked like a baby”. Though I never claimed I write better naked like a baby, I wish I had. Really, I just liked the muted danger of electronics, my first love, with the potential to destroy me.
After Apple came out with the magnetic power supply, the thrill was lost, but old habits die hard. (Too many epigrams; must try getting naked like a baby in hopes of improved writing).
I’d never been with anyone like O, in every respect there is, I think. He got up at 6 a.m. everyday to make it to work on time; he took me out and dropped me off without hardly even an excuse to come upstairs; he shocked me by being legitimate and honest. But most importantly, he got up at 6 a.m. everyday to make it to work on time.
A lifelong, die-hard night owl, I simply could. not. fathom. this. High school was hell, and this was why! The gossip never phased me, but the rivalry between my alarm clock and me? Epic.
Nonetheless, an unforeseen 8-to-5 job offer came about, and, equipped with a man I knew even then would be for life, I accepted, oddly excited about the implications. Our schedules aligned and we gravitated towards what had always been natural but never possible–complete and total inseparability. Within a week, we were, for all intents and purposes, living together.
We got a puppy and talked about the future. I cooked every night and we hosted parties for our friends. He did the dishes and we read in bed together at night. The textbook definition of bliss.
Then I got busy. I started grad school full-time, which meant classes every weeknight evening, in addition to a full-time 8-to-5 during the day. Grad school led to the birth of my first official entrepreneurial venture. The startup led to the revitalization of the blog. However, we crunched some numbers, and figured that we’d be OK if I took off one day from work during the week to focus on school and the company.
Suddenly, on the nights before my day off, my ears pricked up. Off in the distance I heard the siren song of the productive night hours, spent writing and coding and researching and emailing and reading. I missed those hours; I felt like a vampire who’d been forced to brunch every Sunday for the last two hundred years. I missed the dark, the cool, the silent. I missed feeling like I was the only one alive, much less awake. I couldn’t resist.
I promised O I’d be quiet–silent even–but he reminded me of one of his well-known quirks: he hates going to sleep when anyone else in the house is still awake. Yes, I’ve known this for perhaps the whole time we’ve been together, but didn’t he know I was a card-carrying night owl before I knew that about him? Ha! I won!
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been so simple. The bedroom at my place–into which he’s moving in only a couple weeks–is a “loft-style”, which is a $10,000 word for walls-that-stop-short-of-any-privacy-whatsoever. This is fine for anyone living alone, unless they have a cat who cries without rest during the deep, dark hours of the night (in which case you give said cat to your mother, who lives in a house with rooms that have walls). For two? It’s a challenge.
If I could, I’d stay up until 2 a.m., watching awful ABC Family series on Netflix, eating junk food, and obsessively refreshing Google Analytics, but it’s just not an option anymore. I just spent fifteen seconds placing a spoon back in a bowl of ChefBoyardee ravioli I’m eating secretly (for fear of taunting, of course), so as not to allow the metal to sound on the china. I’m considering investing in plastic flatware. I’ve learned the best techniques for silent typing (which don’t involve gratuitous entrepreneurial ventures). I’ve finally learned to navigate my apartment in total darkness.
But why all the effort? Why not just go to bed when he does? I’m the odd man out, right? I’m the one who changed, right?
I contend that, yes, I am the one who changed, but it was nearly a year ago, when I started thriving in the daylight. I simply cannot resist the pull of the quiet midnight hours–I think better, write better, plan better, and ruin my diet better than when the sun presides over its tiny, melting subjects. Besides, I stress, I have compromised. If I were doing what I wanted I’d be staying up until 2 a.m., watching awful ABC Family series on Netflix, eating junk food, and obsessively refreshing Google Analytics!
Yet, none of my selling works on O. Every night before my day off, he asks, “Are you going to stay up late tonight?”, and it begins again. It comes like clockwork and leaves at 7:30 a.m. with its suit jacket and a piece of homemade pumpkin bread. Does this do real damage? Or do we just let it roll off our backs?
Why can neither of us compromise? Am I waiting for him to compromise, while he waits for me to?
Do you have an issue in your relationship that continues to surface, no matter how many times you’ve theoretically resolved it? What did you do? Who won? (Trick question.)
Hold that thought. Comments are going through a rough patch but should be back shortly!0