Occasionally when my roommate is away, I experience the feeling of living alone. I wake up and the only dishes in my sink is mine. The refrigerator is filled up my rotting leftovers and forgotten groceries. The mess in the bathroom—only mine. And occasionally, I can run to the bathroom partially naked with the door open. When you gotta go, you gotta go and make it efficient.
After graduate school, I moved back to San Francisco hoping to live alone. I had finished living in a house with three other people. Which I don’t regret. It was one of the most social times of my life. I hosted house parties—with people sleeping on the couches full of beer kegs. Fireworks in the backyard—no it was not me, I swear. And so many other things. But I was reaching my limit. I wanted things my way.
But I realized that within my budget—what I determined was supposed to be 33% of my take-home monthly pay—I could not afford to live alone in San Francisco. I compromised and decided for a single roommate. I found two bedroom apartment—there was no way I was going to live in a place without a door to my own space in my twenties. And then it went from there. Sure, back then, I was quite happy with it, convinced that I needed someone to notice if I fell and could not get up. I needed to make sure that I was NEVER alone. For who would remember me, beyond the sudden disappear of facebook posts and rapid responded email?
But now, finding my own space, I am okay. I indulge in TV and movies. And cooking, oh I love that experimentation more than I expected. It’s mindless. Then now I am done.
I love the feeling of this alone-ness. Listening to This American Life while I cook and clean. And the smells feel the space. I type quickly in my room, then I move my laptop out to the living room where I type right in front of the TV. But I am barely paying attention, because my focus is just here. And for a moment, it’s just me. My words. My choices.