Sunday, January 5, 2014

Twitches in the Dark

Who knew there would be twitches in the dark?  Quick sudden movements, muscles contracting for a second, like lightning in the veins, sweet and scary.  A tremor in the finger, a tap of the wrist, a one-two shake of the left foot and a twitch.

I hold her firmly as we lie in bed.  Her twitching stops and the room is quiet as air - whispers won't wake her now. It's a safe place to be - the place of twitching - not a place of concern, or nerves before a graduation speech, but a deeper thing - a place of comfort, home, safety, an "I'm here - no need to worry" followed by an "I know.  Goodnight, babe."

I don't respond to her nighttime twitches with a shake or a shout louder than a drum.  All that is felt is warmth in the heart as her hair falls beneath my chin.  Her hair brings smells of home that fill me with joy and I'm reminded that in these moments I love everything about now - the quiet of the room turning into the tick-tock of the clock and a buzzing furnace - even that my lips feel chapped and my back isn't perfectly aligned.  I won't feel afraid, not once, when her twitching stops - just feelings of home, chapped lips and the cotton sheets I feel against my skin.

A jolt - no stammering, muscles slackened.  Shhh...she's sleeping and the moon is out.  I'm taken by the darkness of the room, not a shine in front or a spark in back, quiet and still and shhh...she's sleeping now.  Just a moment ago, we were whispering the day's events...a lost patient, the weather, "feeling sick?" "Nah.  You?"  Deep breaths...slower heart pulses...head to chest (she can hear the heart best).

The temperature feels right.  The bed is warm and our bodies are at rest.  A slight tremor in the finger...a tap of the wrist...a one-two shake of the left foot...and a twitch.

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