How I Think of You Before I Sleep.

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It is enough for me to think of you to fall into a slumber.

I don’t love you. I think I don’t even have any sort of real liking for you. I think I just like the idea of you, the thought of your arms dangled around me and your lips against my ear.

There is a soft pleasure in fantasy—and not the stuff of porn videos or lurid imaginings of pubescent boys. Just the simple, comforting thoughts of falling asleep with my fingers curled, just so, around yours; of having you stroke my legs as you tell me I am lovely; of feeling the warmth of you not-so-far-away from me.

I think of aspects of you, like the unwrapping of a box of confetti-wrapped surprises, and I thrill at the thought of each one—that you smell like pine, that you have broad shoulders, that you like to tell stories, that you are older than me, that you love reading books, that you’re adventurous, that you are wildly successful at what you do, that you poke fun at yourself.

In my thoughts, just before I fall asleep, you are that almost wonderful someone.

The sensible part of me tuts and tells me how silly I’m being. It tells me I’m only setting myself up for disappointment and it rolls its eyes at me for being an indulgent, dreamy, silly little girl.

I respond to it with a little curl of my lip and tell it that I am well aware that these are only day-dreamings like a bedtime story. He doesn’t have to know the stories I’ve magicked up in my head; nobody has to know. If things work out just the way I wish them into being, then I will clap my hands for their happening; and if things never go beyond the pictures in my head, well then, no harm done. Only sweet feelings to go to bed with.

The sensible side of me rolls over and goes to sleep, leaving me to my wide-awake dreams.

I continue to tiptoe in and out of sleep, wafting through intimate thoughts of the most ordinary things I could conjure up between you and me—me making you a cup of tea in the morning, you making me laugh so loudly at a café that all the other tables turn to look at us, me meeting your mother, your arm snugged round my waist. These vignettes comfort and please me more than any bawdy fantasy. They feel more intimate, closer, more real.

I imagine you into a little more into being every night as I go to bed until I almost believe that you really are lying next to me, breathing just loud enough for me to hear and poking me in the ribs just to guffaw at something.

Some nights, I manage to conjure you up in my dreams too and there, it is all passion and lust and sensations so real that I wake up by them.

The dreams are everything I don’t think of when I’m awake because they seem to cheapen the thoughts, make them a little baser than I’d like to think of you. But oh, I must say they’re always delicious and deep and heady and so breathless that when I awake, I have to lie still for some moments, feeling my veins pounding against my skin in their own excited rhythms.

When I catch my breath and consciousness collects back in my eyes, my face, my body, I realize I am thinking of you again—as if my thoughts of you are a seamless movement from falling asleep, to dreaming, to waking. My thoughts settle again on my favorite intimate thoughts of you being as ordinary as you possibly could be—your arms dangled around me and your lips against my ear.

That is when I imagine you to be at your most perfect.

 

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Pixoto}

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Jamie Khoo

Jamie has loved writing and words from the moment she started to read. After getting her MA in English, she went on to pursue a career in writing and has had her work published in magazines such as Elle Malaysia and Time Out Kuala Lumpur. Sick of being told by mass media and society what “beautiful” is or isn’t, Jamie founded the website a beauty full mind to challenge conventional beauty ideals and create new definitions and conversations about what beauty can mean for all of us today.

Say hello to her on Facebook or drop her an email at [email protected].

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anonymous Aug 20, 2015 11:44pm

Hey, I got stuck on the I don't love you or even like you part. No, this is still pretty and I get that attraction doesn't always include like and love, but we still like to think that it does, right?

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 11:41am

Again thank you for writing what I cannot!

anonymous Aug 18, 2014 10:09pm

Truly beautiful. Thank you.

anonymous Jun 30, 2014 5:32pm

This was absolutely exquisite. You have a true gift – thank you so much for sharing its poetry with us.

anonymous Jun 30, 2014 3:52am

Thanks for sharing Jamie

anonymous Jun 29, 2014 11:59pm

Like a page ripped from my mind. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Jun 19, 2014 12:34am

hmmmm not so sure about this piece myself….

anonymous Dec 11, 2013 8:17am

i can understand the feeling… in fact i identify to the writer.. and what more could i say? except it did feel a bit weird seeing thoughts identical to mine written here…. well, at least i am not the only one who thinks of 'him' all the time… 🙂

anonymous Dec 10, 2013 9:19pm

Unbelievably beautiful Jamie,. This story could very well be mine. Right down to the " you are older, you love reading books!" Gave me goose pimples to read this amazing article! thank you for sharing it .

anonymous Dec 10, 2013 9:19pm

Amazing.

anonymous Dec 10, 2013 7:49pm

beautiful. i too x

anonymous Nov 12, 2013 2:22am

Just… breathlessly lovely!

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 8:26pm

Amazing, amazing, amazing article!!! I loved it from start to finish; as a matter of fact, read it twice. I know this feeling. I know it all too well, thanks so much for sharing.

anonymous Nov 11, 2013 7:07pm

What an exquisite piece of writing…thank you 🙂