Rumble and Slumber

I promised this writing project would be more embarrassing.

We’re in her room at her stepmom’s new place. It’s a gorgeous room, but every time I’m in it I feel like an intruder. I imagine she feels a little like that, too, since nothing in the room is hers. At least, it’s all “hers” in the sense that they got it for her. I don’t think the three-foot tall bed, the antique mirror, or the wood cut-out of her name hanging above the dresser were things that she picked out. I’m not even sure she got any say when it came to the colour of the walls, although the lilac paint is admittedly quite nice.

I’m sitting at her desk, browsing stuff on my phone. She’s asleep on her bed. Even though it’s the middle of the day it’s all she wants to do. That’s just how her depression is manifesting. She apologized before dozing off but I told her there’s no need to apologize for anything. I get it. I offered to sit by because, even if we’re doing nothing, I’m content to simply be in the same room as her.

As she slumbers I relax. The foreign furniture frames us in this peaceful moment.



My stomach makes an inhumane noise. It’s the same sound I’m sure a vacuum cleaner would make if it sucked up a waterlogged clarinet. Was it something I ate? Did I not eat enough? I don’t feel ill, and I’m not hungry, so I’m not sure what it could be.


What the fuck.

These noises continue to emanate from within me. Each time my stomach gives a whining growl I think it’s the last, but moments later, without warning, it does it again, making a sound like a Tuvan throat singer with strep. I curse under my breath. I look over to her, but she hasn’t stirred. What the hell could my gut be protesting? Is it nervousness? She and I have been dating for three months now — fifteen months if you follow the running total over the past six years — so it can’t be that. Sure, I still get a little butterfly-filled walking up to her front door, but this is ridiculous. My stomach continues to sound like a yeti in heat while she sleeps. Uncertain about what to do, I wait it out.

The noises subside until the room is quiet again. After a while I see her head lift from the pillow. She looks at me.

“Hold me?”

I smile and climb into her bed. I hold her and ask how her nap was. She sleepily says it was okay. She asks how my not-nap was. I tell her it was fine, I just messed around on my phone for a bit. I sheepishly tell her my stomach was doing an impression of a dying blue whale for a while. She laughs.

“I know,” she says, “I heard!”

Way It Was is a writing project and ongoing attempt to work through a lot of relationship related shit. Find out more about it here.

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