Oct. 4, 2006

this empty bed

"In bereavement books they tell you to sleep with a pillow pulled down beside you. Not quite a Dutch wife, that is a bolster held between the legs in the tropics to soak up the sweat, not quite a Dutch wife.

“The pillow will comfort you in the long unbroken hours. If you sleep you will unconsciously benefit from its presence. If you wake the bed will seem less large and lonely.”

Who writes these books? Do they really think, those quiet concerned counsellors, that two feet of linen-bound stuffing will assuage a broken heart? I don’t want a pillow I want your moving breathing flesh. I want you to hold my hand in the dark, I want to roll on to you and push myself into you. When I turn in the night the bed is continent-broad. There is endless white space where you won’t be. I travel it inch by inch but you’re not there. It’s not a game, you’re not going to leap out and surprise me. The bed is empty. I’m in it, but the bed is empty."

--p.110-111, Jeanette Winterson’s “Written on the Body”