On living alone

Living alone is difficult. Twice a week I want to slam my head against the washing machine that refuses to work. If it isn’t the washing machine, it’s the shower. If it isn’t the shower, it’s the sound of the street. Should have listened to the bit about double-glazing damnit, am not always right even when I am always right. No doubt about it: step 2 (or maybe 3) to adulthood. I remember being a kid and asking for paper to scribble on, I would draw with crayons, actually frustrated at my inability to produce a picture as in my mind but simultaneously not really caring, and thinking about the lady I would someday be. Tall. Shiny ponytail. Big, fancy boobs for some reason.

Portrait of my desk at the current moment: Crusty plate serving as a nest for broken bits of eggshells, two credit cards, a mountain of bills, four handkerchiefs, ‘the novel of the century’ – an eternal and pharaonic work in progress – shoved somewhere in the corner under a mug with an owl’s face.

Living alone -> reflection, waves of reflection every lazy morning and lonely evening. Lots of time to think, lots of time to write, lots of time to think about writing: the ultimate goal. Self-imposed isolation, the monastic life of productivity.

Sometimes I turn off the lights and waltz around the room alone, hoping that nobody in the street can discern my silhouette. A mode of conserving energy. Frugality, let’s call it that.

Reflexes are old dogs with rusty knees…always funny to realize there’s nobody there, nobody sitting cross-legged on the bed or in the rocking chair in front of the TV. Try to think of it as a positive thing: nobody to disappoint. It’s not nice to come home to somebody looking at you with disappointed eyes, it is nice to read Murakami in the bathtub for so long that you stop feeling the water all around you and become a part of it, absorbing and releasing it.

I suppose that what I’m trying to say is that living alone has exacerbated my need to make friends, friends entirely inappropriate and unsuited to any (granted, obscure) interest of mine.

‘One day you’ll realize that your youth was the best time of your life’. I’ve heard this all my life, and as a result have obsessed over the eventual loss of it long before I should have, documenting everything. Journals already silly to this year’s eyes, thousands of pictures. Hence the need for constant action, the desire or feeling of obligation to always have some tale of adventure to validate the fact that I’m young, that I’m living more intensely than I’ll ever live again.

Sad thought – I’m not living intensely at all. I’m happy. ‘I’m here doing what I’m supposed to do, what I came here to do’, I tell the gusts of anxiety that keep breaking in. ‘Screw off’, I tell them. ‘It’s rude to enter people’s houses without being invited. Didn’t I tell you I’m living alone this year?’

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