"It is really very similar to being disturbed by mice. Those damned creatures gnaw and nibble all night, and you bang on the wall, and for a time there is peace, and then they start again." - Marie-Louise von Franz
I remained quiet. His breathing had not deeped or regularized and I remained convinced that he wasn't really asleep. But I couldn't be sure. I tried to count the seconds between his exhalations. That didn't work. I couldn't be sure I was counting in equal durations.
I noticed that my own respiration was involuntarily showing signs of excitement. My heart beat was rapid and my blood pressure was elevated -- my sympathetic nervous system was on high alert. Perhaps he was listening to my breathing and counting the seconds between my exhalations. He'd know that I was awake and not asleep and wondering why.
He moved and the side of his hand brushed up against my hand and came to rest next to it. My heart began to race. What is the significance of this? His breathing was still not regular or periodic.
Was this intentional or not intentional? If it not intentional, why would he rest his hand there? Was he completely unaware of his tactile sense or the existential limits of his body and limbs? If it was intentional, what was he communicating to me? What was the significance of this? What was its meaning? His breathing still had not regularized. He wasn't sleeping. I was sure of it.
All along, I just wanted to hold his hand, but I was frozen in a terror of the risk in which such a move was wagering -- if he were awake. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. I would recite the risk such a move would wager and that would give me a moment of respite, until I was again frozen in terror that the calculations were confronting the moment of possibility in the present moment.
Then, he turned on his side and moved closer to me. It would be impossible for him not to notice the wild explosion of activity produced by the neurons in my sympathetic nervous system. I was likely radiating heat like an overheating car engine. But his eyes remained closed.
I tried to sleep but it didn't work. As soon as I felt calm, suddenly I returned to my feelings for him. I was hopelessly in love with my best friend, but was he with me? He had only talked about girls in all these years. But he never had a girlfriend. The ambiguity of it all tore at me as I calculated the different possible arrangements of the facts, the significance and weight of each fact and their meaning in the alternative potential narratives.
But I couldn't bring myself to do anything or say anything except to the small comfort in listening to his breathing and recognizing that it was neither deep nor regular in its periodicity.
I got no sleep that night trapped in my own obsession, happily next to him.
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