Awake And Decide - 07.24.00

I awoke suddenly for some reason. Whether it was the unfamiliar place I had fallen asleep or the fact that music had just stopped, I wasn't quite sure. The lights were still on in the room and my adjusting eyes scanned around the room for the face of a clock of some sort. Finally, just across the bed and sitting on the nightstand by her bed, I could make out the small green numbers saying 5:34. I wasn't sure how long I'd been asleep, or how long she'd been asleep for that matter. The events leading up to where I was now played out slowly in my mind from the time I arrived downtown earlier that evening.

Instead of the usual dancing at the club, I'd just ended up talking all night at the bar with her. As happens when you're engaged in an interesting conversation, I neglected the one drink that I'd ordered and stretched out drinking it over the course of nearly 2 hours. She'd finished one herself, but by the time the light came on, our conversation was still going full steam.

Despite it being summer, the night was strangely cool and when we went outside, we exchanged the first awkward silence of the evening. I smiled, then she smiled and did something unexpected. Just as I was about to ask her whether she wanted to come over for a hot tea or something, she interuppted me with the very same question. I couldn't help but stifle a small chuckle and when I told her what it was about, she replied by saying that she had not one, but two different kinds of chai to choose from. That beat my measly selection of teas and hot chocolates, so it was decided.

We'd both driven seperately to the club, so I went ahead and drove my car home and changed my clothes into ones that didn't smell like the mixture of smoke from the club. While I was there, I grabbed a couple CDs I had talked to her about earlier in the evening and headed back out the door again. I lived less than a mile away from her, so I went ahead and walked to her place in the mild night air. The sky was clear and I found the big dipper and a couple other constellations on my way there.

When I arrived, it was going on 2am in the morning, but I didn't feel tired at all. I sat down on a couch while she got a cup of chai ready for each of us and we exchanged some banter across the room while I looked around her apartment at the decorations she had on the walls, the magazines on her coffee table, and the plants hanging in the windows. It was the usual thing I did every time I visited someones apartment, as if I could partially judge their character based on what their apartment looked like.

She came back in the room with our drinks and I showed her the CDs that I'd brought over. She went into her bedroom and put one of the ones that I'd brought along in with two of her choice from her own collection into the 3-disc changer before rejoining me on the couch. Our conversation started up nearly right where it had left off in the club and the only times it ever hitched up at all were when one of us stopped talking for a moment to comment on a song that was playing from the other room.

We talked about our jobs, our families, music, movies we liked, and just about everything else over the course of the next couple hours. The next time our conversation slowed again was when the CD player ran out of music at just after 4am. We'd both long since finished our drinks and she got up to go change the music again.

I was still sitting on the couch when I heard her voice from the other room asking me what I wanted to hear. I went into her bedroom, sat down on the floor by her and started eyeing her different musical selections. We had many of the same interests, but I didn't want to hear something that I could hear at my own apartment, so I pulled out about 5 different things and told her to pick the best 3 to play. All three that she picked ended up being fairly quiet in nature (2 ambient electronic discs and one other), and she put them in quickly and sat down on the edge of her bed.

Not wanting to be intrusive, I didn't follow her lead, but after awhile of sitting on the floor across from her on the floor, I got the impression that it wouldn't be that big of a deal. She'd already kicked off her shoes, so I put mine at the base of the bed and sat myself down next to her on the end of the bed. As if mere contact with the bed induced sleep, I could suddenly feel myself getting very sleepy as I plopped down on the soft surface.

After a few minutes of continuing the conversation on the end of the bed, she hopped all the way up onto it and layed down with her head on one pillow and continued talking. I craned my head around, still sitting in the same place and caught a slight smile. The music was drifting in and out of my tired consciousness and I figured I could always blame my actions on sleep deprivition, so I followed suit and layed down flat on my back right beside her in the bed. Our forearms were touching slightly, but that was it, and I could feel the conversation drifting as I struggled to keep my eyes open.

The next thing I knew, it was 5:34 in the morning. I turned around and looked at her sleeping there on her back and wondered if she'd fallen asleep after me and had no problem with our situation, or whether she'd fallen asleep before me and had intended that I would leave. Perhaps we'd fallen asleep at nearly exactly the same time. The 3rd of 3 CDs had just started playing at low volume on the stereo and I didn't want to wake her.

I watched her for just awhile longer, then decided that it would be best if I left, just in case. Sliding off the bed with a minimum of noise and motion, I grabbed my shoes from the end of the bed and shut off the stereo and lights before heading to the living room. I leaned against the sofa and slid on my shoes quietly, then walked back to the doorway of her bedroom and looked in.

I could no longer see her on the bed, but I closed my eyes and held my breath and could hear her faint breathing. The clock on the nightstand now read 5:41, so I turned around and walked through the living room and out the front door as quietly as possible.

On my way back home, I wondered whether I'd made the right decision. Perhaps she would be surprised to see that I wasn't there in the morning, but my thoughts were that she might have been even more surprised had she found me sleeping there in the morning without asking. We hadn't kissed and we'd barely even touched at all, but that hour or so spent sleeping in her company made me smile as I looked up at the sky and saw the first signs of morning. At any rate, I'd left my CDs there so I had a reason to call her in the morning when I awoke.