Wednesday, September 22, 2010

all nighter

Have you ever gone through a break up that threw you into such a state that you couldn't eat, you couldn't sleep, or if you could, sleep was the only relief from the one and only topic of conversation you were capable of with everyone you encountered?
Our good friend went through something like this a few months ago and is doing pretty well. Because we have been out of the country we had major catching up to do with some people, such as with this newly single friend.
Last night after Akiva had been put down, I lit some sweet smelling candles for the house and cracked open a bottle of wine. Our friend was finally coming over to tell us the whole tale of their break up.
Think back to how these stories start. They start pretty early on in the relationship, no? Our friends had been together for over 8 years. We were ready for a long talk.
About forty five minutes into the story of what went wrong, I heard a little muffled wail. Akiva has been sleeping through the night for a pretty long time, but if he wakes in the middle of the night, its always around the 4-5am hour. Never early on. Matt and I shared a quizzical glance and refocused on the story. It was such a sad story.
But no, Akiva was awake and demanding me to come hug him. He was very upset, uncharacteristically so. Squirmy. Or as we sometimes call it, squirmy wormy.
I returned to the living room after Akiva settled.
"Squirmy wormy" I explained. "Teething" said Matt. Indeed- the signs were all there today. I returned to give him a little squirt of cherry tylenol and then back to the wine and candle light.
Our friend had politely waited for me to return. New details I couldn't believe. It was bad. Matt and I were wide eyed.
Akiva cried out again for me. I sort of apologized to our friend. He was articulating some excruciatingly painful memories and insights and it was pretty awkward to have to stop in the middle of a sentance and... wait. I checked in on Akiva and soothed him. How long does it take for tylenol to kick in?
And back to the story. For about twenty minutes. "mama. mama. mama come here."
It hadn't been like this - a seeming all-nighter- since he was a newborn. The next few hours went something like this:
Story story story. (soo sad!)
Akiva. (soo sad!) rock rock rock.
Story story story. (soo sad!)
Akiva. (soo sad!) rock rock rock
Story. (soo painful. SO painful)
Akiva (soo desperate! so SO painful)

and on and on for HOURS until around one am we just brought Akiva out to hang out with us. It was the only thing that got him to stop crying. He lay, bundled, on top of me, the candle light flickering in his red eyes. He listened to the end of the sad love story which had unravelled into disbelief, betrayal, and deep heart ache. Akiva gently repeated the name of our friend's ex. We all sighed.

It almost seemed like Akiva realized life has a lot more agony in store. Maybe this particular night, this particular tooth poking through, wasn't so bad in comparison?

Or maybe not. As soon as our friend left Akiva started wailing again.

Sometimes it is just so so hard to be human.


  1. You're a good writer, Anne Dudek.

  2. Catching up with friends is fun, but when a friend goes through a tragedy, well it isn't as fun. Those tragic stories seem to not only take a toll on the story teller, but also the listener. I hope your friend recovers from his break up.