What I have failed to mention so far is that it’s pretty hard to continue writing on Living Alone and Loving it if you aren’t living alone—which I haven’t been almost all year. Because of my sister’s illness that started in December, her desire and mine not to live together in her small apartment while I am in Portland, and my limited financial means, I have been living in an AirBnB room off and on since January. I share the rest of the house with Clara and Jake, my hosts. These guys pander to my every need, we make complicated schedules for the washing machine, the bathroom, and the oven, and they are overly generous in giving me refrigerator space. They are great, fabulous, wonderful people, but they still are Other People.
After more than three weeks with my sister during the day, and Clara and Jake most of the rest of the time, I feel like I am going a bit balmy. I want to check into a mental hospital—if I am lucky they might put me in solitary confinement if I act crazy enough.
I do go back to my live-alone apartment in Tucson sporadically for a few weeks at a time for R & R. I don’t quite kiss the ground outside my front door entrance into solitude every time I return, but I come pretty damn close.
One of the side effects of this is that instead of writing in my journal in the morning (which I do when I am alone), I talk to other people about what is going on in my head. I find (as I have said in previous posts) talking to myself somewhat more insightful, but even more important somehow is writing to myself. It was this writing to myself, now missing, that I thought I would turn into short blog pieces. No dice.
I tried to make time ‘alone’ by going to a fabulous funky little hippy coffee shop in my Portland neighborhood that’s on my way home at the end of the day. I thought I could digest my day and get something onto the page. But I still am around people who distract me and who I sometimes get suckered into talking to. My ‘journal’ has mainly turned into time management task lists and shopping lists. This is not the path to self-knowledge or enlightenment.
I miss living alone. I’m not myself at all.