Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Old Man is Snoring

One of my intimacy issues sprang from an insecurity of mine: I snore. I don't just snore, I crack the plaster. I've even woke myself up, if the acoustics were just right and the blast was bounced back at me, audio streaming into my nightmare of an irritating bug that won't die no matter how hard I squash it.

It's a proud tradition though, handed down from my grandfather to my father. It likely preceded grandpa, but I never asked. We must have oversized uvulas, or swollen throats. Dad blames his problem on the missing cartilage from his nose, lost he claims, when somebody clocked him in his wild teenaged years.

Dad's various partners, I mean, my step-mothers, would sleep on the couch most nights, and complain to me in the morning. So my paranoia was substantial when my first opportunity came to sleep with a woman of my very own.

Some wouldn't say, others would allude, but let's just say that some engagements were cut short. My friends have been less restrained. I'd wake up to see the pillow that woke me come to rest on the floor. Most of the time however, I just didn't know what woke me, as my tormentors would feign sleep, probably trying to catch a few Zees before I revved up again.

I understand how they felt; it bothers me more than the average having grown up in a room two doors down from my father, whose rumblings sound like a Phantom Jet fly-by. Paradoxically, I was angered by the my friend's insolence, which bought them the time they needed as it kept me awake.

My dad's current wife, the saint that she be, told me that she found comfort in dad's nocturnal grunting, but this I dismissed. No way is a twenty something beauty going to be so similarly moved. I was nervous.

My future wife and I met briefly one night on her last day of a business trip. She was from the opposite coast, and our romance sparked on the phone and by email. We decided to give it a shot, and five months later, she was living with me in a small San Francisco apartment. Night one I stayed awake until I heard that even, steady breathing, and only then did I allow myself to drift off.

It worked for some time, and I even asked if I ever snored, and she said no. I thought she was being polite until one day it really struck, and she wasn't shy in the least in letting me know. But the whole incident was anti-climactic; she made me prop my head on my pillow just so, and voila, the problem was solved.

I often think about how much time I spent growing up, worried about such inanities, or how much effort my mind applied to the subject of sex. It's a wonder that a man even moves out of his parent's house before 40.

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