It’s been almost a year since Husband got his CPAP. Almost a full year since I last slept next to a dryer full of gravel set to high.
Do you know, when we first sat in that soothing little office, I was assured that the device would be unobtrusive? I was promised it was quiet. They even started it up—in a room full of other electronic things humming away, with windows overlooking a busy street in full daylight—so I could hear for myself. And I, fool that I was, agreed.
Some nights I lay awake praying for a time machine. Just so I can go back and give myself a good slap.
He needs it, and I want him alive, so of course it stays… but I hate that fucking thing.
Almost a year later, and we’re learning to rub along… I go to bed first—just like I had to when he was snoring, goodie—so I can be well asleep before it starts hissing at me; he tries to sleep on his back or his side facing away from me (still!) so it doesn’t blow on me.
But then stuff like this happens. For reference, Offspring had a Very Important Test scheduled on this particular day… the sort where they give the parents of these people who are almost adults whole packets of instructions for how to “encourage and prepare” our precious angels. Because they’re practically adults and on their way to college, but if they don’t do well it’s because Mommy and Daddy didn’t emphasize study time, feed them a good breakfast, and “encourage them to bring a non-mechanical number 2 pencil.” (I did a little cheer about the pencil. Pompoms and everything.)
ME: Is he getting up?
ME: They won’t let him into the test if he’s late.
HIM: Yeah, but he’ll have a better day if he wakes up gently. He’s already going to complain that we didn’t let him get a good night’s sleep.
ME: How’d we mess that up?
HIM: By waking him?
HIM: Or maybe by smacking him and complaining that his mask was blowing on us?
HIM: I know, that wasn’t him.
ME: You rolled over on top of me—
HIM: You used to like that!
ME: … And you know that thing blowing on me wakes me up. No, wait. First I dream of tornadoes. Then I wake up.
HIM: (laughs) But you said it was leaking, and it wasn’t; that’s just the vent.
ME: That was the last time. I tried doing it gently, but you were arguing with me.
HIM: I don’t remember that.
ME: I told you it was blowing on me, and you ignored me, then you argued that it wasn’t, because you were breathing.
HIM: I don’t remember that. At all.
ME: Yeah, of course not. That’s when I realized I’d need to wake you up more if I expected you to make any sense. So I told you it was leaking and that jolted you.
ME: I mean, you were either asleep or you woke up on Asshole Day.
ME: Don’t. Say it.
HIM: Every day is Asshole Day.
ME: I told you not to say it!
HIM: I was just confirming what it was that I wasn’t supposed to say!