My boyfriend Chris always falls asleep. If you give him 5 minutes on a couch or chair then he’s probably been knocked out for at least 3 minutes. When I first started noticing this, I was kind of offended. Am I boring? Do we not do exciting things together? If his day was so long why didnt he just go home? Why he don’t ever fall asleep at his homeboys house?

“Babe, wake up!” Became my mantra. I was saying it every 5 minutes while we were supposed to be watching a movie together. Then, I started hinting that he should go to bed earlier and take rest days. None of those suggestions seemed to stick longterm. I thought, man, this dude sucks at resting. Well, lucky for him im the Nap Queen.

In my mind, I made a plan to get him to rest more. What I didn’t calculate is that the best way for this plan to be enforced was he would have to sleep when Im around. This wouldnt be a big deal if we weren’t smack dab in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that only made room for us to spend time together for 2 hours every other week. The last thing I wanted to do was spend that time watching him sleep…

Then it hit me.

He sleeps because he is comfortable. Yes, his days are busy and many times long. But, this is where he finds comfort enough to sleep. I am the place he feels relaxed enough to let his problems fight with each other while he recharges. When hes with me he knows that his work can wait, his mind is at ease, & his body is safe enough to just be. Ive created a place that exudes peace. A strong tower that he knows that God rests here.

I got into this relationship wanting to find someone who could be my safe space and ended up being his.

I no longer feel annoyed by his slumber but rather grateful that this black man has at least one place to be at peace. I take my new role with pride because its the one time I feel like I am protecting him. One place that the world isnt telling him hes less than. One place where he isnt being judged by the size of ‘package’ or the flashiness of his clothes. His shoes size doesnt matter here and the amount of street cred he has has no merit. Only sleep. Only silence. Only rest.

I think about all the odds that are stacked against him. Some of which he brought onto himself but many that have been forced on him society and others. I think about about the emotional weight that must carry and how he wears it so confidently well. I think about how much he pours and speaks life into people (ones he knows and ones he doesnt). I think about his drive for success and how no matter whats been thrown his way hes found a way to muscle through it. I think about how proud his parents must be to have him as a son even if they don’t always show it and how lucky his sister is to have him as a life example. Then, I think about if it was me, how tired I would be…

Sleep on King. It is an honor to watch you sleep knowing that you got a moments rest in a world that hates everything you stand for.

Note to the Muse: I wasnt lying when I said I wrote a blog post while you were sleep Babe.

K, good talk

-J