I don’t remember the last time I was lonely.
That is, I have a vague memory of restless Friday nights, about fifteen years ago, when the kids were with their dad for the weekend and I hadn’t lined up a hot date. But since then, being alone is, like, a luxury. Because it hardly ever happens.
Well, now The Girl is in England, doing what 19 year olds must do (ie get as far away from their parents’ civilising influence as possible) – and so I find myself alone.
Not just ‘alone’ in the way that you are in the city – where you can hear the neighbours having a great time next door (but they didn’t invite you!) or go to a bar and get drunk in the company of strangers, or form a temporary mutual admiration society with a woman walking her hideous dog down your street (‘What a lovely dog! Oh no yours is much cuter – can I pat him? Which end is which?’.
I mean really alone. If the neighbour’s home, you wouldn’t know it – she’s half a kilometre away. Staring out the back door, there’s just me and uncountable hectares of national park. I can’t even turn the tv on – we don’t get reception. Come sundown, outside, it is really, really, dark.
So I sit at my table, in the candlelight, listening to the whispered pillow talk of birds and the squeaks of assorted bush thingummies, thinking, so this is what it’s like to be All By Myself. Course, work is kinda social – I usually chat with the elderly farming couples while I’m doing their dishes – but when darkness falls and I’m back home, that’s when I really feel it. Alone.
It’s one of those things, like the first weeks after breaking up, that you have to push through. I just need to wait it out. I’m not going to go rushing out to check my Facebook, or ringing up random relatives just to hear a voice (or worse, listening to the news just for the company). I’m alright, alone.
Actually I kinda enjoy it. Also, I’ve developed a new inner strength – the ability to watch vampire films (True Blood, on my laptop) without staring fixedly at the window all night afterwards in case a vampire presses his pale nose up against the glass. In any case, before I get too sorry for myself, The Man is planning on moving down to the country retreat quite soon – then we’ll both be Alone. Even better.