Although I think I love to be alone, I find that I am not very good at it. Perhaps from a lack of practice. Perhaps.
Today I watched about ten minutes each of three movies. I drank three beers. I ate hot dogs for lunch. I watered the garden. I cleaned the house and did laundry and I took apart the Okeefe & Merritt stove and cleaned her from stem to stern. I took off the grates and soaked them in vinegar and baking soda and scrubbed them down, took off the stove top sections and did the same number to them, then took the grillevator and the oven racks and the drip pans out, ditto. Wiped down the inside with vinegar and soapy water, cleaned the floor under the stove and behind it, got the broiler pan shiny, the pull out crumb trays, the oven knobs, then the heat vents. Once I got the baked on crap and the grease off all the inside, I wiped down the outside again until she was all glistening white and silver. She’s still got the wear on her, the simmer caps and burner heads are worn and no longer shiny, the porcelain is cracked and threadbare in places, but she is a thing of beauty.
Then I had to wash the floor in the kitchen and give all the countertops a good bleaching and rubdown, cleaned and polished and dried out the sink, put everything away, started pacing again.
Left to my own devices, I will sterilize and make lifeless everything in my path.
Then I will put a simple bowl down on a bare table and call it good.
Cleaning is my yoga.
The dog regards me from her spot under the dining table with a half raised eyebrow before sighing and going back to sleep.
Nothing to see here.
I don’t like social engagements. I don’t like small talk. I won’t go to a party if you put a gun to my head, unless you promise to do just that, and then pull the trigger.
What I do like is one-on-one: long, deep talks over beers or, best, walking through woods or along the edge of the water, or over a table strewn with some killer eats. Not just one-on-one, I’d say up to four people altogether. Beyond that, I grow bored. Everything skims along the surface.
I prefer the deep waters, and time enough to explore.
If you are reading this, I more than likely think of you as my friend. I don’t get many strangers around here. And more than likely I don’t give very much of myself back to you, at least not in the traditional intertubes way.
Don’t mistake it for lack of regard, or unfriendliness.
It is just a character flaw I hold in spades.
You ought to ask my relations what they think of me. I don’t return their calls, won’t go over to their houses for dinner more than once or twice a year, am always begging off invites to this or that. And I love them. I truly do.
But I am kind of flinty, and self-involved, and selfish.
Then I find myself alone and wonder what the fuck.
I am at peace with myself, even with my dissatisfaction.
I am what I am.
There is a measure of strength and goodness in me that counterbalances my stinginess and small-heartedness.
And the truth is that I put my money down where it counts most to me. I love the woman on the verge and the wild woman of borneo with a fierceness that burns away all half measures. I’ll wager they know it, too.
Time for another beer. I wonder what the floor under the washing machine looks like right now?