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I work long, long hours at a New York digital media property that shall remain nameless. It's a super-crazy schedule and I am forever getting home at midnight, much to the dismay of my saintly, ever-patient husband Bill.
One night, when we had a crushing deadline and I was there until after midnight and had to come back in the office first thing the following morning, my (male) boss gave me an Ambien so I could sleep easier that night and come in early the next day. There are about fifteen things wrong with this picture, now that I think about it, but that is the craziness that is my media life.
Anyway, I took the pill on the way home, trying to time it so I could collapse just inside our door, rather than outside. I arrived inside our apartment to find my husband asleep in bed, my dinner in the warming drawer, and two wineglasses on the counter. One empty, one full. I sat down heavily with my dinner, and as I drank the wine, I stared at his empty glass, musing on what I was doing with my life. It wasn't like I'd blown him off for dinner, and yet...it sort of was. Was this spousal abuse of some kind? I didn't know and was too drowsy to think too much about it.
I forgot, clearly, that you aren't supposed to mix Ambien and alcohol. The rules are clear on that. But I was headed straight to bed, so it didn't matter, right? I distinctly remember rolling my commuting jeans and underwear off as one unit, like a dirty rubber band, and slipping into a pair of cotton panties and a camisole top. Then I crawled in next to my snoring bear of a husband and slept the sleep of the damned.
I woke up the next morning feeling great...birds shining, sun chirping. My cotton panties were neatly folded by the side of the bed, which was weird; I’m not normally fussy at the best of times, so it was hard to believe I would have done that in my addled stupor. I staggered groggily out to the main room, where Bill was cooking up some eggs.
"Well," he said, with a grin. "That was one hell of an apology."
I frowned, having no idea what he meant.
"Last night?" he said. A beat. "Don’t tell me you don’t remember!"
Apparently, sometime after I crawled into bed, we had sex. No, not just sex: The bang-fest of the ages. Crazy shit. Bill said I was an animal. Not "enthusiastic," or "eager," you understand, but like a real actual grunting and rutting animal. "You did stuff I've never seen you do before," he said, after trying gamely to induce me to recall the night.
I had to confess I had no memory of the whole thing. Not a single salacious detail. It was a total sleep-fucking blackout. If Bill told me I'd snapped and killed a man, or gone on a windshield-smashing spree in our neighborhood, I'd have no choice but to believe him. And though he was partly amused, I could tell he was also partly hurt that we weren't going to be able to share this memory. As punishment, he refused to provide any details of my game-changing depravity. (Bastard!)
I went to work that day still stunned, thinking, I'm pretty sure I'm going to quit. If this wasn't a quality-of-life-questioning moment, I don't know what is. To this day I wish to hell I could remember what we did, though. It was one of the greatest sex nights in my husband’s life, and me? I don't even have a warm memory to fall back on.
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