Many nights when I wake suddenly out of a bad dream or a nightmare I turn anxiously to my left and reach out to that side of the bed. In this house my wife slept on my left and my turning toward her at that moment would be an instinctive act out of fear. And that is when the nightmare of my subconscious becomes a conscious nightmare, for she is not there, sleeping to my left, and has not been there for four years and seven months.
I am alone in a six-room house. The house may as well be in the countryside. There is an old house across the road occupied by a man and his wife who I hardly ever see. There is a church on the other side of my corner lot which at night is as quiet as the graveyard that rests behind it. The next closest house is what I call a football field away, further north on the county road. Behind my house is a rocky hill and a deep thicket of woods where deer and other wild animals live. So I would call this pretty much living in a lonely countryside. Not the most comforting place to wake up alone after a bad dream or a nightmare.
There is a cat in the house, who often sleeps on the end of the bed, which is company of the four-legged kind, but on these warm nights she sleeps on the cooler fabric of a sofa in the living room at the other end of the house.
There is not a sound in the house, and on these warm nights the windows are open to the dead silence of the outside world. Graveyard and all. All of which adds up to a lonely place. Without a wife. Sleeping to my left. When I wake suddenly out of a bad dream or a nightmare.