Tuesday, September 07, 2004


I wrote recently that I've never lived alone in my near 40 years of life. I also wrote that that day would soon be coming.

Well, that day is here.

Today is the first day in my life that I woke up to a house that would not get any fuller in the forseeable future. I woke up to a phone call from my buddy Kirk bugging me for the composite cd that I'd promised him. Ugh. Hate waking up to phone calls. Much prefer to wake up to a warm body, even if that warm body is frustrated and cranky because it's out of work.

My mom once quoted a Yiddish proverb that has stuck with me, but which I can't remember in its exact form which I believe sounded more lyrical. Anyway, it's something like "If you pretend to be asleep, eventually, you'll be asleep." So, I'm thinking that I should pretend to enjoy my freedom so that eventually, I will.

Because right now, all I feel is alone. And it sucks.

I spent a lot of yesterday, including the drive home from seeing the barista off, trying to figure out how to celebrate a freedom that I'm not sure I really want.

(And before I go any further, I want to assure my dear readers that I'm not going to moon about, forever whining about my aloneness. I'm obviously going to get over it in a couple of days, so just shut up while I use my personal melodrama as writing fodder...)

The first celebratory thing I came up with is "TAKE BACK MY SIDE OF THE COUCH!" This was an exciting event, marked by, well, my sitting on the side of the couch I used to sit on. Not exactly what you'd call a great act of civil disobedience, and not exactly satisfying anyway, 'cos I'd found a certain comfort on the other side, but I did it. I pretended to relish it so that eventually I would enjoy the fact that I could sit on WHATEVER FUCKING SIDE OF THE COUCH I WANTED TO. Dammit. (This goes for the bed, too... Now I have the light and can read until whenever I want to... WHOOO HOOO!!! Whatever.)

Then I thought about what it was to REALLY be free. How else could I celebrate the utter lack of responsibility I now had to anyone except my job and my bills? (Yeah, I know, still a lot of responsibility, but really a lot better than before...) And it came to me. Travel. I needed to just up and go somewhere for a weekend. Las Vegas. New Orleans. Seattle. Just on a whim.

Then I realized that, in fact, I was not really free. I have a dog. A dog is still a responsibility, and if I was going to do this freedom thing, I was going to need to rethink the dog-ownership thing. Don't get me wrong. I love my dog. She's a hilarious, weird dog with more personality than you might actually want in a dog. But, aside from requiring daily feeding, drinking, eliminating and exercise (doesn't that simplicity sound inviting?) she also requires a fair amount of attention. She's sort of an affection hound, she doesn't like to be alone, she prefers a monogamous, committed relationship, and... well, she reminds me of me, and that's not helping this "pretend to enjoy the freedom..." thing. So, I'm thinking of trying to find her a new home.

Then there's the extreme celebration idea. I've been wanting a tattoo for years. Nothing outrageous. Just something simple, of my own design, black and ... flesh, someplace not very noticeable. Preferably, someplace invisible completely. Just something *I* know is there, like the little message on the inside of the bracelet that I wear ("It will be alright") that I can think about and be reminded of something I often forget. Just a little symbol of this new freedom that I can always touch and remember that it's mine if I want it, and giving it up is not as minor a decision as I've always treated it.

So, those are the things I've been thinking about lately. Shockingly, everyone has opinions about them (especially the tattoo), but the neat thing about celebrating freedom is that the celebration is really the recognition that these are my decisions. So, if I decide not to get rid of the dog and not to get the tattoo, it will be because *I* chose that path. Not because I'm trying to make anyone else happy.

Oh, yeah, and I asked another friend last night, male, what was so great about living alone, and OF COURSE, he responded, "you get to walk around naked and fart at will..." Whoever thinks that the "men are from mars" thing is a crock, let me just say that there's more right with it than wrong...


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