I realized I was awake. I looked at my phone. 2:50. There was a small amount of orange light at my feet. Benny was breathing quietly in his sleeping bag. Five days in and I just wanted to go back to uni.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like Benny or the Polish countryside or these little villages or the museums or the art galleries. They were all wonderful really. I just needed a woman – the possibility of dwelling on a possibility. I couldn’t fancy anyone if I couldn’t speak to them. Or they couldn’t fancy me. That was more important. It’s not as if there was anyone in particular back home. But there could be someone waiting around the corner. And that’s what let me sleep at night.
My night feelings always appeared to me as both profound and confusing. I could never remember any of them. I’d be at the end of a thought, very proud of my conclusions, and suddenly have no idea what my conclusions were. Or even my premises.
It was the dip before the hip I missed most. And the tummy. That woman in the bedroom had a wonderful tummy. What was her name? I could stroke her tummy forever. And kiss her lips. They could be dry, they were still wonderful.
But I was stuck here with the orange and having to speak through my friend. Maybe I could find someone soft to hold onto here in Eastern Europe. If I was a different person I could. If I was Benny. I wasn’t. I barely had the confidence at home. Living in a fantasy world.
My nose was running. If Benny was awake he might have heard crying. I wasn’t, but he might have heard it. It’s just what happens when I lie down.
“Mustn’t think about the past. Mustn’t fantasize. I must focus on reality.” That’s what I was thinking. In truth I imagined a lot of images with no feeling behind them. I often found it hard to know how I felt. Was I happy, sad, anticipatory? Is that a feeling? What are feelings? My problem was that my life was so boring that there was nothing to dwell on. Must be why I wanted an adventure so much. Adventure is something to think about. Adventure lets me dream. Adventure lets me sleep.