I was awake for several seconds before I would succumb to opening my eyes. I hate waking up in the middle of the night. It irritates me in that way that fingers on a blackboard irritate the world. And if the day’s Crystal Light inventory made it through my bladder and chose the middle of the night to come out, I’m even more irritated. Putting a foot on the floor mid-slumber is more painful to me than running 5 miles mid-day.

I braced myself and opened my eyes to confront the clock.

3:37 a.m.

Damn.

3:37 a.m. is a lonely place to be. I never enjoy waking up at hours like these. I always hope the race to fall back asleep is won sooner rather than later.

No such luck. This was not one of those “awake for 3 minutes and right back to sleep” nights. No, this was “the last 4 hours were more like a nap, and so now that you’re rested, let’s talk.”

I don’t want to get up. I want to lay here in the warm bed with the dogs and…wait. Where are the dogs?

It is unseasonably warm outside. Thora, understanding the simple law of “heat rises,” chose her bed on the floor instead of mine. Sammy is where he always is, in his bed guarding a harem of bones he’s collected over the years, bones he moves from room to room with a diligence so impressive you would think he was being paid for it.

When I rolled over and looked at them, Thora stared at me. She whimpered to come up on the bed. I called her up. She turned three circles and lay back down with a sigh, a sigh that said, “I was sleeping and I heard your eyes open so now I’m awake and you don’t have to be alone and if you want to talk, well, go ahead.”

Sweet Thora. She’s so in sync with me. Or I am with her.

{Cue middle of the night, brain vomit…}

Speaking of being in sync, I wonder what he’s doing. I wonder if he’s awake. If he is, I wonder if he’s watching TV. Or reading. Or working. No, he’s probably sleeping. Hey, wait, he didn’t call me back last night. Let me check the phone. Maybe I slept through it. I’ve been known to sleep through things before. I’ve been known to sleep through things recently.

I clicked my light on my cell. 4:19 a.m. How have 40 minutes gone by? No missed calls or unread texts. That’s odd. Usually there’s some sort of goodnight call. Am I losing my touch? Did the time away together cure him of wanting to see me for a while? Have I lost my appeal?

The middle of the night is lonely for sure, but it can also prey on the most vulnerable parts of your self-conscious.

The night, stealing my precious sleep hours, continues. The night will steal an hour from me this weekend in Daylight Savings. I don’t want to lose any more time than I have to.

Buzzzzzzzz.

Out loud I say, “What the fuck!?!” On the phone it says “1 new text.” I rarely get middle of the night texts. I’ve never received a middle of the night text when I was laying awake, willing someone, anyone, to call me so I didn’t have to be alone anymore.

I opened the text. 4:29 a.m.

From him: “The fire alarms just went off. Well that was fun.”

From me: “I’ve been up since 3:30. Can’t sleep. Looks like you are up too.”

If someone is thinking about you at the exact moment you are thinking about them, were you ever really alone?