Alone

What is striking me today is that if my mind is not engaged in an activity, I am instantly aware of being alone. The awareness of the absence of another presence is a constant, always there to greet me whenever I pause to think or relax. This is relatively new to me. I’ve either been responsible for others, or living happily with Attila. Aside from the three months I lived alone in Toronto when I first attended college, I’ve never lived alone, without another presence to take into account.

I did go camping by myself for a week once, when the children took their only holiday with their father, my ex-husband. I stayed in a beautiful campground, in a tent. The week passed slowly, quietly and was almost uneventful. Two small incidences punctuated the experience. The first was the arrival of two pickup trucks full of party guys. When I saw them coming I hid my beer and pretended to be a tea-totaller and very disapproving. They avoided me forewith, the desired outcome. The second incident was on a quiet night, black dark. I was asleep and awakened to heavy breathing near my head but outside the tent. I froze. I determined it was a bear looking for food. Not moving, knowing I had no food in the tent, I tensely waited until the animal moved on to a more lucrative location. Eventually I went back to sleep. I don’t remember being particularly conscious of being alone though. Perhaps it was because I lived out of doors for the duration and there were other campers at the campsite.

Yesterday it rained all day. Today is overcast with a fierce wind blowing. During the night I heard banging near the bedroom window; I also heard the wind. I concluded that it was the lawn chair, which had been sitting on the back deck, blowing about. Sure enough, when I checked out the window this morning, the lawn chair was capsized and sitting out in the yard. I’ll fetch it in later this morning.

The hot water heater was turned on at 7:00 a.m. this morning, in anticipation of a much welcomed shower. The hydro is cheaper during the weekend, so this is the time to shower. Later in the week, if I want to shower, I must wait until after 9:00 p.m. to turn on the hot water heater and then wait for a few hours after that to let the water heat thoroughly. Friends of Terra and Lares were telling us that the on demand hot water heaters are great. However it would be a great exspense. The gas service would need to be hooked up and the initial outlay for the hot water heater would represent a considerable investment. We are just managing to pay the regular bills at the moment, there won’t be any new investments in the next few years. After that though, who knows!

Well, I waited till 9:00 a.m. and then jumped into the shower. Too soon! I got out, with my hair washed and rinsed, just as the water turned icy.

The wind is significant still. We are getting some snow, which is melting immediately.

I spoke with Attila earlier today. He is busy splitting firewood after work and over the weekend, making great progress by all accounts. It is cold enough that he continues to fire the masonry heater. Hopefully warmer weather will arrive by the time I head home.

I am just now visiting Terra, which gives me the chance to post this entry.

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2 Responses to Alone

  1. WendyNC says:

    I lived without sharing an abode with another human for more than ten years, but I can’t say that I ever lived alone as there was always at least one other mammal in the house (a guinea pig at the beginning). Having stayed alone in a hotel room a few times over the years, I don’t think I’d care to live truly alone on a regular basis.

  2. Maggie says:

    Wendy, I can see the value in the company of dogs and cats and even guinea pigs.