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In Sickness and In Health
by Aaron Troye-White

I've woken up in a lot of strange places and this one tops the list. Once, I came to on a Westbound train, in the middle of Uttar Pradesh. I live in Cleveland. I've opened my eyes to find myself off the coast of Lake Baikal, bobbing in an orange life vest, warm in a skintight wet suit. I've awoke mid-coitus. It wasn't Charlene, but some Korean woman. I forced my eyes shut and made it all a dream. My wife regarded it so.

My sleepwalking is far from innocuous and I sleep a long time. Lucky somnambulists flicker their lights, check stove nobs, or power through boxes of their kid's Lucky Charms. Me, I steal Buicks or stumble into illegal Peruvian gambling rings. I've been everywhere, yet I've experienced none of it.

Then there are mornings like today, sixty stories up, lying on the steel beam of an unfinished skyscraper, looking over mist-draped green mountains. My neck is stiff and cold. My legs dangle over oblivion and the unseen swish of the cars passing underneath.

Yet, there's a blanket on top of me.

I smell cigarette smoke and turn behind me. My wife, Charlene, leans against a vertical beam, taking it all in. She's giving me that look, eyes squinting with a suppressed smile.

“Morning, dear,” I say.

“Good morning, love. Sleep well?”

“'Same as always.” I scoot carefully along the beam and reach for a drag of her cigarette. “Thanks for taking care of me again.”

“Don't have a choice, do I? Sickness and health and all that shit.” She takes the smoke back.

“How'd I get up here?”

“You don't want to know.” She hugs me between her legs. “Sleep-you has a flair for the romantic.”

Before us is the purple sky. And here we sit, inside a sunrise.