Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sleeping and Spooning

When I was younger, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. As I have gotten older, I have noticed I do not sleep as well in new or strange environments. Having been married to Amanda now for almost 12 years, that generally means any bed that she is not in. Sleeping alone just feels... well, lonely.

One of my favorite parts of every day is early in the morning before we have both truly awoken, oftentimes after the "first" alarm has gone off. I will begin to nudge my way over from my side of our king size bed to her side (actually, I don't have to slide over very far because I am usually never that far from her side of the bed!). She will groggily turn to her side with her back to me. I don't know if this is because I have her so well trained by now or because she is hoping I will go away and let her continuing sleeping in peace.

I will then "spoon" in behind her, wrapping my arm over her (ok, maybe I do a little more than just wrap my arm around her). Our newest cat Mango (click image to enlarge) is usually cuddled in her arms, creating what I jokingly refer to as our menage-a-quatre! [If you don't get the clever pun, then you need to listen to the pronunciation of the french word for "four" here.]

The more of my body I can have touching hers the better. I don't think this is exactly what the biblical concept of "one flesh" is referring to, but... I like it anyway. Unfortunately, she does not always enjoy this as much as I. I think it has something to do with not being able to breathe. Whatever. (I thought taking someone's breath away was the whole point of romance!)

I mention this little, rather intimate, anecdote because I know the first few nights away are going to be difficult. And I don't think it is just because I will be in prison (although I understand that the nights are not exactly quiet; fortunately, I can sleep at a rock concert), but simply because I will be in a strange place surrounded by strange people and out of my normal "sleeping and spooning" routine. My wife, on the other hand, will probably be sleeping quite nicely with all 5 cats in bed and no one to interfere with her breathing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read this. My husband is off on a trip right now. When he spoons with me, he really wants to procreate or at the very least, "recreate" or it seems, die trying!

If G-d forbid he was in prison, I am sure I would be very sad and miss it, but I need my beauty sleep.

At night I do not sleep when he is not here. He is funny and says he cannot sleep without me, but when I am doing schoolwork, late at night, he's sawing logs by 9:30.