She’d been saying it for years. I had just never listened. I could already see her “I told you so” dance and wicked smile of victory when I finally would get the chance to share the news, but the two of us had been slowly losing contact. Not in a negative “Oh no Roc! What about true love? Don’t lose her!” kind of way; rather more in a “Yes it’s good to be busy but when I can come up for air?” kind of way.
It’s important to give a frame of reference. Decades of military training had made me an early to bed, early to rise whether I want/need to or not kind of guy. If it’s past 2100 hours, my body is starting to shut down. And regardless of how late I pushed myself, how exhausted I could make myself, I was consistently up at 0530 without fail.
It had been the Friday prior to the event I’m building up to when I had a few friends over for drinks, drugs and vids. I’ve never touched any form of substance since getting free of Vitoc, but I had become a lot less judgemental towards that did enjoy the freedom of burden and pain that recreational usage could bring. Everyone had a fantastic time, and at 0200 Saturday morning, the last of the guests were out of my small quarters. Yes, I said 0200 hours. Like I mentioned, I could push myself when needed. Thank the military. I was asleep by 0205.
Saturday I awoke and was at the drone shop by 0800. We were hosting a racing event, had a training session to teach, and had some drones built and ready for resale. My small team of excellent staff was up for the challenge. From a business point of view, it was a slow day. From a personal point of view, I was exhausted and thankful I could leave early with my team handling anything that would come up.
Then I got the call. “You’re coming tonight for the dinner gathering, yes?” There are certain people you cannot say no to. “Yes. Of course I’ll be there.” I committed myself to, knowing these people didn’t even think of eating dinner until 2000 hours. Still, once there, I found a second wind and had an amazing time. It was around 2130 when my NeoCom buzzed. The message was from the most beautiful blonde Gallentean Jin-Mei you could ever hope to lay eyes on. Young, smart, passionate, everything you would never be lucky to have. Unless you were me of course. I read her message. You’re still picking me up at 11 local time, right? Right. Of course I was. I didn’t get to see this beauty often, and every moment we spent together was memorable. It’s not her fault my weekend had been chaotic. I knew if I told her, she would want to postpone, and maybe I was just greedy, but I wanted every moment I could get with her.
I took my personal shuttle across the region and picked her up planetside. It was 0100 Sunday by the time I got to sleep. I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow. Again, nothing spectacular. I know many that stay up that late, but my body was starting to hate me for it.
Sunday we went planetside to a famous art gallery on the last day of a special exhibit. The crowds were unbelievable, and unexpected. Still, we had an amazing time, and though the evening brought disappointment with an underwhelming light show, I had a full day with her, and that was something special.
After dropping her back home, I got back to my quarters around 2000 hours Sunday evening. I thought maybe I’d catch up on a few things, get ahead of my busy coming week. I don’t remember falling asleep, but I certainly did.
All of that was said to bring us back to the original moment, the defining idea of this entry. She was right.
I woke up Monday morning to the cold of near-space. I found out later that there had been heating failures throughout several sections of the space station, and the redirect of airflow left everyone alive but incredibly uncomfortable. The electric blankets had kicked in due to the emergency, and that was what was wrapped around me tightly as I cocooned underneath. The air was cold on my face. I rolled over to look at my clock and then realized I didn’t even care. For the first time that I could remember, I didn’t want to leave the warmth of the bed.
I knew I had to, of course, adult responsibility and all that, but as I dipped my toe to the metal floor, only to instinctively have it retreat back within the blankets, I knew I was done for. I tried to push the blankets off, but they fought back, wrapping me in a strangle hold. They were surprisingly strong and I wasn’t sure I could overpower them. For an hour we fought, the blankets and I, the comfy pillows sneaking up on me from behind. Even as I broke free of the soft mattress itself, the blankets refused to let go, dragging me to the floor of my bedroom.
Even as I write this I miss them. Yes, they were vicious and evil, refusing to let me adult, and yes I’m a grown ass man that realizes how ridiculous this all sounds, but it’s true. It can be hard to get out of bed sometimes.
The struggle is real.