copyright © 2005 Matt Perry

The Discomfort of Love (No Shame Edit)

The scene opens with two lovers, John and Jane, asleep in bed. Jane is asleep on her left side, as is John, who has his arms wrapped around his girlfriend. John’s right arm is slung loosely in the general area of her waist, his left arm lies limply on the bed; Jane’s shoulder is pressing down into his bicep. Jane’s head is resting in the center of a pillow; John’s head is resting awkwardly on the mattress without a pillow. There is a blanket covering them.

Slowly, John’s right arm unwinds from around Jane and starts to massage his aching neck. This brings him to the realization that he suddenly has no pillow. He flings his right arm over the side of the bed, and beneath the blanket, his legs twist over, preparing to search the floor below the bed for the missing pillow. He rolls onto his back, but with his left arm trapped under Jane, this is as far as he can go. Tiredly, he attempts his jerk his arm towards him. His attempts do no good.

Slowly opening his eyes for the first time, John looks over at Jane and begins to surmise the situation. He rolls over onto his left side and tries to tug his arm out from under Jane, but it simply won’t work without waking her up, and John is too much of a gentleman to disturb her sleep. His right arm reaches over Jane’s body in an ill-conceived attempt to push his arm under Jane, but the prickly sensation of hundreds of numbed nerves suddenly awaking at full force stuns him. His body jerks, his right arm flies back to his side, and he flops down on his back, waiting for the burning in his arm to subside.

John looks again at Jane, and his gaze slowly drifts up her body to her head; more specifically, her head resting on a nice, soft pillow, with just enough room for his head as well. With all the grace of an earthworm on wet concrete, John slowly inches his body in an arc towards the pillow. Finally, he is close enough to put his head upon it. Triumphantly, he raises his head and prepares to set it down on the pillow when. . .

. . . Jane unexpectedly jerks in her sleep. Her shoulder grinds into John’s arm, reawakening the sleeping nerves and once more seeming to set his arm on fire. Worse yet, her head moves closer to the edge of the pillow that John was hoping to occupy. As he lies on his back grinding his teeth, he surveys the situation. Jane is now taking up most of the half of the pillow he was counting on using. Trying to make the most of the situation, John puts as much of his head on the remaining corner of the pillow, but finds that there is simply not enough; only part of his face can fit, and his neck is bent at such an angle that it rapidly cramps.

With a low growl, John flops onto his back once more, and the fingers on his right hand slowly drum on his stomach while he tries to think of what to do next. Slowly, his fingers begin to speed up and a smile comes across his face, until he is all-out grinning and his fingers are wildly tapping a hole in his torso. He turns onto his left side, and very gently, he reaches over Jane and grabs a large handful of the blanket covering her. In one swift motion, he yanks the blanket off of her and cuddles up with the immense mound of warm fabric covering his entire body.

Jane awakes with a start and sits up, shivering. She looks over at John, who sleepily sits up, making sure to drag his tingly arm back to his side, trying to hide the uncomfortable pinpricks all over his arm. Jane gets out of bed, gathers her clothes, and begins to leave the room.

Jane: I think I had better go.

John: What’s wrong, baby?

Jane: I’m sorry, but I could never spend my lifetime sleeping next to a blanket hog. It would just make sleeping too difficult.

Jane leaves, and John remains sitting in bed in confusion, trying to figure out what just happened. With a shrug, he pulls the one pillow nearer to him and falls back asleep, with his left arm curled safely on top of his chest.


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