Shades of Morning

Dearest Rachel –

I’ve begun to acclimatize myself to the fact that Daniel is awake and in his rocking chair by the time I’ve showered and gotten dressed in the morning (especially since, these days, I’ve taken to writing to you as I dry off from said shower). I’ve convinced myself that it’s partly due to the fact that you’re no longer here, sitting on ‘his’ couch at night, trying to get that last little bit of enjoyment out of the day before heading off to bed at… whenever it was. Without his partner in crime, he doesn’t stay up so late, and he’s likely to get up fairly promptly in the morning, regardless of whether he needs to or not (which, apart from Sundays, I’ll admit he generally doesn’t).

Today, however, feels like a throwback:

I came downstairs from the home ‘office’ just as it was approaching nine o’clock – when I used to make a habit of arriving at the folks’ place back in the day – to this scene. Daniel is underneath that pile of various fabrics on the couch; were he awake, only half of the couch would be covered, and he would be sitting in the chair to the right.

I’m almost tempted to credit the shades. We pulled them shut on the door to the patio the other day, because the glare was making it hard to watch a video during daylight hours – nearly everything on the screen looked black. So now, the morning light (I won’t go so far as to see the sunlight, as there isn’t any of that today) doesn’t stream in upon his face to wake him up.

And yet, he’s slept on that couch for the better part of the last fifteen years or so, so it isn’t as if the light coming in from the outside made a difference in the past.

It might have been my fault last night; we’d found a new YouTube channel that both of us enjoy (it’s more difficult than you’d think. While I’m okay with some of the political stuff he watches, I’d just as soon not get too serious. Meanwhile, the history stuff I enjoy, he finds boring – which, I suppose, is fair enough. And then, there are the parodies, which are surprisingly hit-or-miss; one devoted to video games gives Tails the fox a grown-up male voice, which he absolutely can’t stand. The fact that the storyline sometimes seems like it was written by the same people who create Cards Against Humanity probably doesn’t help. You’d probably find it funny, though), mocking awful video games. I do feel sorry for the guys that put these together; they have to play these awful things in order to get a feel for them, so they can rip them apart. The things they go through for content. Anyway, they were doing one about a game that was just so repetitious as to put me to sleep, and I didn’t regain consciousness until one in the morning. Even Daniel felt the need to apologize for such a dull episode, and went so far as to acknowledge I didn’t miss much.

So I know he was up until past one. But that wouldn’t be too different from any other night, back in the day, would it? I’m even aware that he took a nap yesterday afternoon, between about two and five; he should be reasonably well-rested. So why is he still asleep, even as I’m watching ten o’clock come and go?

I can’t say as I have any answers, honey. Maybe he just stayed up that much later, since I would usually leave him to his own devices that much sooner on an ordinary night. Maybe it’s just nice to stay up late, like he used to when you were around, now and then. I don’t know, as I could never relate; you remember how I would refer to ‘pumpkining out’ before the night was out (which is not the same as ‘vegging out,’ as it simply meant that, like Cinderella’s coach, I’d turn into a pumpkin by midnight). But I get that the two of you enjoyed it, even if you were off in your own separate little worlds in the family room. I imagine he misses those days.

We both do, honey.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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