I am incandescent with rage. No that’s not right. I’m too tired for incandescent, more a dark glowing ember, burning slowly, threatening to set fire to the bedsheets. What is going on, I hear you ask? Are you ok?
Well, no! I’m not ok!
My husband, the gentle, chilled out man who has shared my bed for nearly 30 years, is bloody snoring again.
I have groggily asked him to turn over. I have gently nudged him to lift up his chin. I’ve elbowed him through covers, grumbling that he is snoring. I have physically turned him on his side, turning my back and resettling just for a second, only for him to start again as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Now I am sat up in bed clutching that pillow ready to smother him, snarling through gritted to, ‘please, for the love of God, just fucking turn over.’
I don’t know where this nocturnal rage comes from, but it comes. I could literally lie kicking and screaming, punching the bed and him like a tantruming toddler as he lies next to me snuffling and snorting. I’m not normally this irate.
I am a light sleeper. I also have insomnia, a menopausal side-effect – not side-effect, what’s the word? See I’m so sleep-deprived and full of bile I can’t even find the right words anymore. Well, I don’t sleep well anyway and when I finally do, to be woken by the slumbering megaphone that was once my husband is, quite frankly, insufferable.
I lie for ten, the twenty then thirty minutes, getting crosser and crosser. On one particularly sleep-deprived night, I actually woke my husband up as I flounced, yanking pillows from the bed, yelling at him that he was so impossibly unreasonable it was grounds for divorce. He farted, and turned on his side, snoring again in seconds.
What is it about being awake at 4 am?
I woke with babies in the night and didn’t try to throttle anyone. Well, not them at least. I do remember wanting to kill my husband when he slept through crying little ones, a glimmer of revenge in my heart as I kicked him out of the bed so I could feed them and sleep in peace.
I woke with restless kids and stayed awake waiting for young adults to return safely from their revelries. No violence occurred. No murders were planned. I didn’t need a cup of tea to calm my nerves.
I tiptoe back upstairs, not wanting to wake my husband – see I am considerate. All is quiet. No sound escapes. Not even the dog.
I once spent a night elbowing my husband to turn over and stop snoring until I realised guilty that it was the dog but that’s not the point.
Now, all is quiet. I slide beneath the sheets, careful not to wake him. My head just skimming the pillow when he turns on his back and starts snoring.
I harumph, tossing and turning dramatically but the new mattress that we bought to help with the snoring means he can’t feel me moving about.
I consider jumping on the bed, waking him with a not-so-playful pillow-fight, pillows splitting, feathers flying everywhere, his last breaths silently taken in a shimmer of white, but I’m not sure my bladder is up to all that jumping about – another menopause-thingy that has come to stay.
I should say that I do quite like my husband. He is a clever, funny, weirdo who came for Christmas and never went home – even after years of me asking.
He brings me a cup of tea in bed in the morning, asking nervously how I slept? Forgetting himself, he tells me he slept really well, this new mattress has really helped, he hardly heard me snoring at all.
‘That’s nice dear,’ I manage through gritted teeth.
He really is a nice husband. I really wouldn’t want another one.
But I swear to god if he doesn’t shut the fuck up at 3.30 in the morning, I seriously might not have a choice.