I used to treasure those moments of peace, shutting the bedroom door, losing myself in my own aloneness, my solitude. I'd wish for more. I'd wish for hours upon hours of just me myself and I, hugging a book, watching whatever I wanted, lying on the bed staring at the ceiling if I pleased. I would wish that I could just be, without someone asking me where I was, or what I was doing, or what I was watching, or what I was reading, or what I was listening to.
Today, a minute after they left, my face crumpled in on itself. They'd been here for merely 24 hours. A short visit, not quite free of arguments either. And yet I had formed a habit already. I grew used to hugging and talking and eating together. I got used to having someone around again.
I stood in the elevator, riding all alone to the top. Step by step, down the hallway, turning the key in the lock, I enter. I shut the door. I lock it. I pause. Suddenly this one-bedroom apartment is vast, stretching out in front of me empty and bewildering. I sit on the sofa, occupying one little corner. There are three extra chairs and an extra sofa. 2/3 of this sofa is empty as well. I stretch out, trying to fill in the space.
Music, I think to myself. Something to challenge this deafening silence, this lack of voices, this lack of conversation.
My phone winks at me silently. I suppose I could call someone. I reach for it, but then my hand falls, slack, next to my leg. I reach for my book and curl up into a little ball again. Just 1/3 of this sofa.
I shouldn't complain. And actually, I'm not complaining, not really. I like my space. I like my privacy. In fact, I love them. I love being able to do whatever I want whenever I want, without anyone to question me.
The thing is, there's just nobody to do all that whatever and whenever with. Nobody to turn to and say - hey, how about a cup of tea? Nobody to idly ask, whatchu readin'? Just...nobody.
And I'm not saying I don't like stretching out on the sofa or reading my book in peace. I'm not saying I mind that nobody can look askance as I leave a dirty dish in the sink. I'm not saying I dislike having my own little world. I'm just saying...perhaps someone in the next room might be nice.