It’s uncomfortable to lay on my back.
When I get home, I remove my clothes and gaze at my bed. In these summer months, I will click on the ceiling fan, and fall chest-first onto the bed, arms spread. I relax. Completely.
And once my human body is relaxed, my gryphon body relaxes. My wings, no longer a heavy weight on my upright body, lay flat against my back, and I feel their wrists relax, fanning their feathers out slightly across the covers.
I’ll usually curl up with a stuffed animal to feel their fur, a comfort to me, a reminder of what it was like to play with my own tail, or embrace my kind. I don’t remember them, only sensations, smells, sounds that feel like seconds of dreams you remember when you first awaken.
When I stretch my arms, too many digits reach out. I grasp the edge of the bed, and my talons, feeling dull, sink into the soft covers. I can’t remember what my arms feel like. When I think about it, they feel cold, and I don’t know what that means. Sometimes I can see them, even just as a shade overlaid upon my human arms, ebony like the feet of a crow. I’d hope they would feel nice to touch, for the sake of my husband.
If I decide to nap, I assume my position on the left half, nuzzle my head against the pillow, and curl up on my side. This seems to be where I am most comfortable. My wings relax and stretch out, and I swear I can hear the fan rustle my feathers. My heavy tail swishes sometimes, perhaps just to feel the sensation across my legs. Sometimes it settles beside me. Sometimes it drapes over the edge of the bed.
I like to feel my talons between the sheets. Sometimes I’ll claw my hands in a crude facsimile of what they ought to be, but I never arrange them correctly. My arms will feel almost like sleeves, slim and compressed, and I can feel where they meet with the fur near my shoulders.
It is only when I close my eyes do I feel how elongated my feet are. A digitigrade stance is too painful on my human feet, but my gryphon feet are accustomed to the strength and agility it affords me. When I relax, they seem to stretch on and on, and I can no longer feel where my human feet end.
I’ve installed speakers on either side of my bed, and for my daytime naps, I’ll play sounds of the wind in the trees, and chimes stirred by phantom breezes. When at last I fall asleep, I am not human.