At 11.30 last night, I was not ready for sleep and decided to catch up on the pile of weekend newspapers I had not read. Michael was fast asleep so I switched off the bedroom lights, made myself a cup of tea and proceeded to read in the kitchen.
I read this excerpt from Levels of Life by Julian Barnes in the Sunday Argus Book review section. It is "a short book about grief, and grieving. It doubles up as a love letter to his wife Pat Kavanah, who died in 2008":
"As I move and start to nestle my shin against a calf whose muscles are loosened by sleep, she senses what I am doing, without waking reaches up with her left hand and and pulls the hair off her shoulders on to the top of her head, leaving me her bare nape to nestle in. Each time she does this I feel a shudder of love at the exactness of this sleeping courtesy. My eyes prickle with tears, and I have to stop myself from waking her up to remind her of my love."
I cut out the article and put it on my desk to use sometime for a blog. I then finished my tea, glanced through the sports section, read the Travel Times, sorted the papers for recycling and washed up the wine glasses. It was nearly 1 o' clock when I tiptoed into the bedroom and slid into bed as quietly as I could. Before my head could touch the pillow, Michael's right arm automatically rose up from the duvet to make space for my head which always falls asleep on his shoulder. The "exactness of this sleeping courtesy" did not escape me and I could not stop a few tears from wetting his shoulder, he carried on sleeping deeply and I decided, quite meanly, to poke him with my cold fingers and wake him up to tell him how much I loved him.