I am not sure what awakens me each early morning when I am in North Carolina.
It might be the freight train that rumbles through this small southern town at 4:30.
Or, it might be Tatiana, the Siberian Husky that sleeps beneath the bed; she harrumphs and sighs with each change of position during the night.
Or, it might be that I am of an age when women wake frequently during the night.
Whatever the cause, when I am in Wilmington I invariably awaken at that early hour when it is neither night nor light outside.
I do not stay awake long.
I reach for Kem.
He faces south, away from me.
I move up against his back and slip my arm under his and around his chest.
Kem does not wake up, but he rouses enough to make room for my arm and tug me just a bit closer to him.
We are spoons.
I am a foot shorter than Kem, so we are spoons with the teaspoon behind the soup spoon.
Kem smells like gingersnaps stored in a cedar closet, spicy and sweet.
He has always been the best smelling man on earth.
I breathe in the scent I know so well from 35 years of hugs and my respiration slows.
We keep the room cool; it is semi-dark and so quiet at that hour.
We both fall into the best sleep of the night, the two hours before the alarm.
And that is the secret.
We sleep best with both of our heads on the same pillow.