How much time do you like to be alone?

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Some people can’t bear to be alone or when they are alone, they want to have noise happening. My ex-mother-in-law always has to have a TV playing. She cannot bear to be alone with her own thoughts. And alone she has been. Oddly both my ex-mother-in-law and my current mother-in-law are within a year of each other and were born in the same area of Illinois and grew up there, and were beautiful at eighteen and someone was madly in love with them, and life began. But then, things went wrong. They are now eighty and eighty-one and have been single for thirty years for the one and nearly as many for the other. That’s a long time to listen to your own thoughts.

I admit that being single has never crossed my mind. As in what would I do if I were single? I like being alone, but I am never lonely. I like having a brilliant person to toss around ideas with. I like saying to someone, lets have more roses, lets have Mozart playing in the bedroom and the living room, and it happens, life and music springing up around me like I am living in a storybook.

The one thing we missed during our writing time in Greece was music and we have that here, but we also have hours of sunlight and silence. We even drive quietly in the car sometimes. Just thinking. I can feel our heads unwinding as if we were actually wound too tightly in Los Angeles. Isn’t everybody?

I think that’s why my friend Darlene moved to New Mexico, she was tired of the whipping pace of it. You’re always on. You are always doing a kind of performance. Here people seem to be literally drifting. In LA, for example, I’m always made up when I leave the house. I choose my clothes, (not that you’d notice, but I do) and I venture out into the thrash of LA life ready to encounter all kinds of people. NY is so much more an affront to the senses because you are in those people all the time, at least if you encounter NY the way I do, walking and subways. Darlene takes cabs everywhere, so that’s got to feel a little different. She can see people from the windows of the car, and there’s the whole process of getting a cab.

Most people wouldn’t want three weeks alone with one person in one little cottage with nothing to do but take walks and write, nobody else to see except in the evening when we go down to check the Wifi at the hotel. We see other people then, but it’s pretty brief. It’s a lot of time alone with one person. I’m getting better, and he’s getting sick, but he’ll recover in 48 hours; he always does. I don’t know if he doesn’t get as sick or if I’m just more of a whiner.

I know people who put on headphones when they’re with their spouse. You can listen to music when you’re alone. What’s the point of being with a partner if you take trips without him/her? If even when you’re with them, you’re listening to your own music? Or if you aren’t really with them that much anyway?

Humans like company even when they don’t.

Published in: on June 8, 2013 at 11:49 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I miss our morning talks. Hope Ireland is great.

    Much love.

    • I have always had long morning conversations with the Harper girlfriends. A and C broke up this summer.

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