You’re up early to wave your wife off. You’ve carried her suitcase to the waiting Lyft, now back for a coffee and check of the work email.
Modern tech means that you’re never really apart. At least not for very long. You can share the ride to the airport, the breakfast, and then the boarding.
Work takes over and you lose track of her somewhere over the flyover states. Once more, paying employment gets in the way of what’s important.
You’re still there, though, at your desk, as she checks into her room. She sends pictures and you return with pics of the dogs she saw less than 12 hours ago. You make a quick, uninspiring dinner, walk the dogs, then back to your work desk. This, you think, is the advantage of working from home. Why sit on the sofa when you can be working on files at your desk? But you’re not a good liar, even to yourself.
Later, sleep comes hard. Every sound keeps you awake. You realize that you’re missing the white noise of the fan your wife has on at night. But you’re too stubborn to use it as you complain about it every third or fourth day. So you lie awake, every twitch and itch of the dogs registering in your increasingly frazzled brain.
The morning comes too soon. It unravels much like the first, except your wife is sending you cool pictures of a city you’re not visiting.
Work piles up. You bat it away like you’re at a picnic and each email is an angry wasp. You decide that’s either the perfect analogy or makes no sense at all.
Still, you have nothing better to do because your wife is having fun in the Deep South, your son is doing whatever young people do now on computers, and the dogs don’t mind where they sleep. So, you can really get into those projects.
9.30pm, you quit for the day, shower, shave, and head to the bed. You sleep on your wife’s side, not out of some weird-and-or-romantic yearning but because the dogs have now laid a firm claim to what you always used to think was your side of the bed.
You are able to reach the fan though, and you turn it on. You promise yourself that you won’t tell your wife that you caved in. Your lying has not improved. You do, however, drop off to sleep almost instantly. Which is a weird coincidence.
You wake at 5.30am for no apparent reason. You spend an hour reading Twitter, which is full of videos of CNN reporters not assaulting White House interns. You flick through quickly, looking for the dog pictures.
Somewhere more interesting than your home office, your wife is receiving an award. You are working in flipflops and leisure-wear covered in dog hair. You haveat least combed your hair, but only if your fingers actually count as a comb.
She sends photos and you’re proud of her. She’s then off to drink, eat ice cream, and do a guided tour of Haunted Savannah with her friends. You celebrate finishing a batch of copyediting by making a pot of that nice tea you bought.
You have to get out the house. You decide you’re going out to eat dinner. The boy-child will gladly accompany you as it’s a free meal. The dogs will enjoy having their choice of cushion to snore on without being made angry by every little thing on the television.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
You sleep just fine now. You have this sleep thing perfected. Good job.
Your wife is returning home this evening. So, no, not a week. But almost a week. Four working days. Why nit-pick? Because this is the internet, silly.
She spends the morning exploring Savannah and sharing it with you via text messages. You love the photos she sends but you’re much more excited that she’s coming home. As you think of it, you remember that you’re supposed to be slow-cooking some pork for dinner. So maybe you should stop writing this nonsense and go cook some pork, dummy.