I can’t sleep, but when I’m sure my wife Vicky is asleep, I get up and look through our bedroom window, across the street, at Oliver and Amanda’s house. Oliver has been gone for three days, but his wife Amanda is awake. She can’t sleep either. It’s four in the morning, and there’s not a sound outside – no wind, no cars, no moon even – just Oliver and Amanda’s place with the lights on, leaves heaped up under the front windows.

A couple of days ago, when I couldn’t sit still, I raked our yard – Vicky’s and mine. I gathered all the leaves into bags, tied off the tops, and put the bags alongside the curb. I had an urge then to cross the street and rake over there, but I didn’t follow through. It’s my fault things are the way they are across the street.

I’ve only slept a few hours since Oliver left. Vicky saw me moping around the house, looking anxious, and decided to put two and two together. She’s on her side of the bed now, scrunched on to about ten inches of mattress. She got into bed and tried to position herself so she wouldn’t accidentally roll into me while she slept. She hasn’t moved since she lay down, sobbed, and then dropped into sleep. She’s exhausted. I’m exhausted too.

Great Falls
A Battle