Ten minutes ago, I re-learned the name of the girl in my bed and left my apartment to write this article. Now I’m sitting at Starbucks on Ninth Street trying to remember exactly what I did to her and what she did to me, and I can’t quite put a finger on it.
There are a lot of people who scorn or at least frown upon the idea of a one-night stand. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been warned of the risks: the STDs, the STIs, the tarnished reputation, the possibility of pregnancy. All things to be afraid of, especially in the eyes of a mother or father or a college student who’s supposed to have their entire life ahead of them, as said risks can change a life for the worse. The risks of sleeping around (for lack of a better phrase) aren’t just talked about, they’re real. According to the Center for Disease Control, as of 2009, 409.2 out of every 100,000 people had chlamydia. For many, the fear of consequences so serious is too much to justify a night of inebriated indulgence. Yet every night, young men and women leave the bar or the party to take the party back home and upstairs.
I’m a late night person, and when I say that I don’t mean that I like to stay up past 12 a.m. rather often. I’m a late night person in the sense that at least five nights a week, I’ll stay awake until 4 or 5 in the morning in spite of having class at 8 a.m. Anyone who’s with me on this knows that watching the seconds on a clock creep by is a sure way to start thinking about how nobody is there. With the comfort of nothing except for your latest favorite song, it’s easy to slip quickly in to a bout of depression until sleep presents itself as an option. You start clicking the side button on your phone to see who’s texted you, and the screen lets you know that not only has nobody texted you for the last two hours but it’s also only two minutes later than the last time you checked. Questions start to form like, “Why doesn’t anybody want to talk to me?” and, “What are my ex-girlfriends doing?” Since all you have to counteract the questions is silence and no company, it’s hard to dodge them.
You look over at your bed. The sheets are messed up and you get to wondering why your most recent girl really called it off, and you start chasing closure. She’s not awake though, and probably wouldn’t respond to your text messages even if you were to send one. You need some kind of distraction, so you clean your room up and organize your folders but all of that really only takes a minute when it’s all you have to do, so now you’re sitting back down in the chair at your desk looking at a pristine empty bed and all of your shoes lined up on the floor of your closet and you’re nowhere closer to feeling better than you were when the room was messy. Everything you’ve done that day or in your life pales in comparison to what you wish you had, or what you wish you felt, which is “not this.”
Late night conditions are perfect for over-thinking. Small hours seem to highlight the negative and give you too much time to dwell on it. There are always quick fixes when you’re feeling down; maybe you take Ambien to get to sleep, maybe you smoke some herb to forget about sleep altogether. The risks associated with sex are obvious, and I’m not saying that they’re to be discounted by any means. What I’m saying is that regardless of what you’re doing or not doing or how you do it, having somebody in the same bed as you is validating. It’s a quick fix.
Ten minutes ago, I re-learned the name of the girl in my bed and left my apartment to write this column. Now I’m sitting at Starbucks on Ninth Street trying to remember exactly what I did to her and what she did to me and I can’t quite put a finger on it. But I didn’t sleep alone.