“I can so fit in this basket.”
I’m sick. I get sick about once a year and it’s almost always a cold. And I’m grateful for this, that I’m not encumbered by migraines, the constant flu, a nervous stomach, or even a whole lot of allergies, and so when I do get my cold, I try to treat it like an annoying yet benign houseguest. I feed it tea. I soothe it with pills. And sometimes I take off work to spend time with it.
Which leads me to this amazing fact: I am in the house alone. The last time I was in the house alone was a couple of years ago. I wasn’t sick then, so I cleaned the bathrooms.
Today, I am not cleaning the bathrooms. Not just because I’m sick, but because they’re already pretty clean. Instead, I’m catching up with the laundry, writing this, writing a bunch of work stuff, picking up new scooter handle bars at the post office (Luca’s) and a drum set from the high school (Tallis’s) and visiting the sock store so Barnaby can buy his teacher a year-end gift of socks.
Also, I’m watching that show, How I Met Your Mother. It’s taken me 2.5 years to binge watch. I think perhaps I don’t understand the concept of bingeing.
Everyone here is confused that I’m here. The dogs aren’t sure if I’m real. The house keeps turning off lights, assuming someone left them on accidentally. And we don’t even have motion sensors on our lights.
The cat is normal, though. As normal as he usually gets. He is sleeping on top of the piano in the basket where we keep sheets of music, and I think he must be having a very active dream because he’s quite too big for the basket, and parts of him keep oozing over the edge.
Even I’m confused that I’m here. The dryer just turned off in the basement, and I know that if my ears weren’t so clogged, I’d be able to hear only silence, and the ticking of the clock, and the dog’s toenails on the wooden kitchen floor. The quiet is tangible, and it puts me slightly on edge. But also, I love it. I miss this. The quiet. The aloneness. There was a stretch of time between quitting my office job and having my first son when I didn’t work, didn’t leave the house all that much, and spent most of most days writing and reading and making lists that I thought would prepare me for my new, fast-encroaching life (they didn’t). I think about that time sometimes and wish I could whisper back to that person I was to notice it more. To notice what it felt like to talk out loud in an empty house and have no one shout, “WHAT?!” To notice the lack of permission I needed to take a nap in the daylight. To notice how I moved when I knew no one was watching.
So I will let you know what I notice today.