Sleep Strike

sleeping in venice by JT

I’m not going to sleep until you sleep with me.  Not.  Won’t.  Can’t make me.  It’s a sleep strike.

I’ll negotiate.  I can be reasoned with.  I’ll cut a deal.  I’ll give in, but only if you’re willing to bargain.  I’m not asking for much, only for your love and passion.  All you need to do is be reasonable.

Here are my demands:  Sleep with me.

I want you in my bed.  I want you beside me.  I want your naked body pressed against mine.  I want to run my hands over your– uh-uh-uh.  I won’t give away everything.  I still have aces up my sleeve.

Are you ready to talk about this?  Are we ready to put our cards on the table?

I’m not sleeping, until I have your word.  I mean it.

Day 1:  No sleep.  No problem.  No you… yet.

Day 2,3 and 4:  It’s a breeze.  I’m starting to get a sleep deprivation-induced high.  I’m fantasizing about you every other minute.

Day 5: I’m starting to hallucinate.  I’m imagining you in my bed, wanting me. My desire is out of control.  I have never felt better, more awake, more alive, more alert.  This is beginning to give me a splitting headache.

Day 10: Friends are concerned.  Doctors are called in.  Will I die, they wonder?  How long can this go on?  The authorities arrive, but dismiss it as unbridled passion and outside the interest of the law.  The press run with it though, and your face appears beside mine in newspapers nationwide.  The Headlines say simply, “Enough Already — Sleep With Him”.

Day 25: I’ve made the Record Books, but so have you.  No one can believe you’re still holding out.  U.S.A Today features a daily line graph of passion.  “Wide Awake: Day 25.”  They are charting several indices of my health and your crumbling resistance.  Are you trying to postpone the inevitable, to sweeten the culmination of our passion?  Are you teasing me as a game?  The headache has been replaced by a feeling of euphoria.

I haven’t taken your almost daily rejection letters to heart.  I took them in the spirit I know they were meant.  When you said, “I am not ready to do this, please leave me alone” I knew you meant, “Its only a matter of time before I’m in your bed.”

What you said to the New York Times confused me at first.  “He’s a crazy man and I want nothing to do with him,” they quoted you.  After a second reading, I realized you meant, “I can see how crazy in love he is with me.”

I really am.  I’ll wait forever.  I’m already getting used to not sleeping.  I’ve learned to live with the visions.  Elvis told me just yesterday, “Come on man, I’m with ya.  All the way, Baby.  You just wait for her.  She’ll come aroun’.  Take it from the King.”

I don’t want to pressure you.  You should make your own decisions.  I want you to do what you want, when you want.  It’s all about free will.  I want you to have absolute freedom to make your own choices.  And I want you to sleep with me.  Tonight isn’t too soon.

Day 30: A month now.  Am I getting through to you?  Have I made my point here?  I’m not doing this for attention.  I mean, I’m not doing this for anyone’s attention, except yours.  I want to show you what you mean to me.  This is serious, this strike.  My demands still hold.

One month of no sleep.  I don’t really need it anymore.  This increases the hours in my waking day by 50 percent.  I’ve gotten a lot done.  Did you get the flowers I grew?  And the beaded moccasins?  And the watercolors?  The photographs of Rome from my bike tour?  (I’d like to take you there sometime.)  The books I sent?  The cookies?

Thank you for your note yesterday.  It was kind.  I noticed this time that you didn’t tell me to get lost and drop dead.  I think we’ve entered a new phase of our relationship.

I was surprised by your phone call.  I was so used to hearing you hang up on me.  You sounded almost worried about me.  I must have sounded loopy, I was so giddy with excitement.  I can’t believe you agreed to meet.

When you come over, I’ll meet you at the door.  I’ll dress neatly, but casually, in a white cotton shirt and jeans.  I’ll effect an attitude of casual surprise, of rumpled and eccentric good-health.  We can talk for a while.  I can get you to laugh.  Then maybe I’ll invite you to stay for a simple gourmet dinner I just threw together.

I want you to know that nothing is too much trouble for you.  I want to suggest that I’ll walk to the end of the Earth for you, without freaking you out completely.  I’ll fix something elegant, yet deceptively simple.  Served with a fine French Burgundy of an old vintage.

After dinner, I’ll ask if I can read to you.  I’ll ask if I can rub your hands.  I’ll ask if I can brush your hair.  Buy you the moon.  Write you a poem.  Balance your checkbook.  I’ll do anything for you.  Big or little.  Extravagant or mundane.  Would you care to lie down, just for a minute, and let me hold you safely in my arms?

I’ll be crazy.  You’ll know right away.  I’ll be turned on like a light bulb.  No, like a halogen lamp.  More like a 5000-watt sodium vapor arc lamp.  I’ll be radiating desire.  Even through a haze of passion, I’ll understand that I only want you if you want me too.  I’ll ask if you’d like to go home or stay.

And in the back of my mind, of course, I’ll be vibing you at full volume “STAY!  STAY!  STAY!  STAY!”

I’ll only make you promises I can keep.  But I can offer you everything I can give.  I’ll listen.  I’ll cook for you.  I’ll do your laundry and your ironing.  I’ll clean the toilets before you have to ask.  Want to have kids?  I’ll arrange to carry the baby.  Or babies.  Midnight feedings?  Messy diaper changes?  No problem.  I don’t want you kept.  I don’t want you helpless.  And if actions speak louder than words, I want mine to shout how much I love you.

And if you lay down with me.  If.  If.  If.  If you just lay your body, your smooth beautiful body, your soul, your heart, your mind beside me–  If you let me put an arm around you.  Both arms.  Let me hold you tight.  If you lay down beside me, I’ll be in heaven.

Maybe then, I’ll find a little peace.  You’ll calm the fluttering in my stomach I get when I think of you.  Maybe then, with you in my arms, I’ll relax for the first time in a month.  Maybe then, I’ll close my eyes.  And with you beside me, home at last, I’ll lay my head down and

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