"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


Not at Night

Not at Night

We are happy, at least during the day when the sun is shining. And when it’s not. We love each other even when the clouds saunter in and leave their marks on the sidewalks and streets. We find a smile as if it were a dollar bill found in the pocket of a raincoat. 

Daytime happy. That’s what we are. We call each other best friends. He is my husband, the person I am growing old with. Shared laughter exercises our bellies. We talk as if there are unlimited subjects. We attend to each other’s tired, knotted muscles. It is love, the real kind, the kind not even movies can capture.

But not at night. In bed, nothing is said. Nothing needs to be said because our actions rise against our voice boxes. 

It starts with a stolen pillow left in no-man’s land, gone before waking from a sleep spindle. The sheets, a constant contention as temperatures fluctuate, require covering our bodies one second and thrusting it aside the next. Sheet-o-war I’d call it if words came out of my mouth and not actions from my hands, grasping the edges of the sheets and pulling, fighting for my right, my ownership, my half. Our nights, filled with blanket kicks, non-verbal accusations, thievery and self-serving tugs all while flipping back and forth, facing the enemy, then turning away.

When at last the light glances in the spaces where the curtains meet, struggles find their hiding places in the darkness of the covers as the bed is straightened out, sheets untangled and replaced from corner to corner, duvet carefully smoothed, pillows orderly stacked.

“Good morning,” he says.

“Good morning,”

We say little until we can wash away the stench in our mouths from the night of sealed lips. When we brush away the evidence down the drain and into the darkness, the words come back, and we kiss to welcome a new day. Friendship returns, another day of laughing and talking and looking after one another. Best friends to the end, every day. 

But not at night.


Amy Wall writes “to get the quirky stories out of her head that seem to pop up out of nowhere.” While she works in Mergers & Acquisitions, her true love, besides her family, comes with the magic of pencil scratching across paper. Having traveled around the world, and living for 8 years in Australia and NZ, Amy now lives in San Diego. She is a member of SDWEG and The Just Write Society. Website: www.amywallauthor.com, Facebook: facebook.com/amy.geremiawall, Instagram: @amygeremiawall, Twitter: @curconfess

Cover photo Todd Diemer

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