As my wife sleeps past 10am and the kids are off singing karaoke to their new favourite songs I am sitting here writing this. Since I went to bed and couldn’t sleep, thanks to a nagging back issue and related pain I was laying in bed and couldn’t get the following line out of my head.
“in the morning I’ll be gone”
I knew it was a song lyric but I was struggling to remember the rest of the song or who sung it, I told you I was in pain 😛 . What I did know though was that it had a meaning, it resonated because it used to get stuck in my head when I was driving. So first thing I did this morning was look up the lyrics and I was reminded of two things, one it’s a Dwight Yoakam song and two it resonated in my head because I used to sing parts of it so often.
The whole song is not a metaphor for my life, I didn’t live by all the words, but some of them have meaning. When I first started delivering bread and I was leaving home at 10PM, my then girlfriend, now wife, got me listening to Dwight. I’d heard of him before that but was not a huge fan but she liked him so I started to gain an interest because of her. Then I heard this song and without knowing exactly what it was about I heard the lines.
“Please don’t think that you done something wrong
In the morning when you wake and find me gone”
That line hit home because in the morning when she woke up I would be gone. I hadn’t left like the song states but I was gone. Even if I busted my arse to finish quickly, broke speed limits and cut corners I could not get home before she woke. Even on weekends when I did finish a bit earlier she’d still wake up and find me gone. What was worse was that while she was working 9-5 I couldn’t even get home before she had to leave for work.
Although I eventually started sleeping less and forcing myself to be awake so we could spend some time together each day our lives were mostly emails and text messages, some might say the perfect marriage because we never had to put up with each other. But pretty much every day she woke she found me gone. That didn’t change for 6 years, even on my one day off I couldn’t sleep past 5am so the bed still only had one person in it when she woke.
I liked to kid myself that each night when I left she was tucked up in bed and sleeping while I was working, but I know that wasn’t true, she lay awake wondering if I was ok, hoping I hadn’t hit a tree, hoping I hadn’t fallen asleep in the truck, (or maybe that was the bit I was kidding myself about 🙂 ).
Things didn’t change much after I was medically retired, I still couldn’t sleep, laying in bed hurt too much so each morning she would wake and I was gone, only in the kitchen or lounge but I was gone. After the kids arrived things changed a bit, we both woke up whenever the kids demanded it, but I also let her sleep in because my mind said tired dad was better than tired mum. Sometimes she’d wake to everyone in bed but more often than not she’d wake up alone because I had the kids in the kitchen eating breakfast and trying to stay quiet to give mum the sleep in she deserved. Now days we both sleep like shit, we can nearly tag team awake moments of the night so she might not wake up to find me gone every time but the last wake up is usually alone because the kids still need breakfast.
So Dwight Yoakam if you’re reading this, and why wouldn’t you every one else does, thank you for writing the lines that kept me awake for those many hours on the road, but up your jaxxy for writing the words that also become a kick in the head. And thank you to my wife for not reading this and realising that I am human, even if it’s a flawed human.