For the past couple of weeks or so I’ve been home alone. B was in Moldova, and now she’s in Canada. The whole of August stretches vast and empty in front of me.
I like being on my own. But it’s funny how quickly you get used to having someone to come home to. The first few days in the flat, I pinged around, wondering what to do with myself. The hours from seven in the evening, when I get home from work, and ten, the earliest acceptable time to go to bed, seemed long and hard to fill. It wasn’t just B who was away. Everyone seemed to have left London in search of a summer somewhere else, somewhere hotter, sunnier, greener, more spacious.
Anyway, first I’d cook something to eat. Then I’d eat it. Half past seven. Pick up the guitar to play. Half eight. Wander into the kitchen and think about washing up. Twenty five to nine. Decide I can’t be bothered and make a cup of tea instead. Twenty to nine. And so on and so forth.
But after a couple of days, my brain seemed to stretch out into this new found solitude. In the day I’d find myself plotting what I was going to do with myself that night.
I’d write something. I’d start reading that book I’ve had for ages and begun. I’d learn something new on the guitar. I’d sit in my pants and wax. I’d sing at the top of my voice, and play music loud.
It’s not that I can’t or don’t do any of these things when B is home. But all of a sudden the nights have become a glorious space for leisure, for thinking, for dreaming.
It’s like the me who doesn’t get to play because she’s got jobs to do, food to buy, washing to hang up, people to see, places to go, was ringing my doorbell to ask my mum if I was playing out tonight, and if I was playing, did I want to go on bikes up to the beach? And the job-doing, food-shopping, washing-hanging, people-seeing, places-going me answered the door and said Yes, okay then, let’s play. And got her bike out from the back of the garage.
Anyway, today I found this wonderful piece of spoken word on YouTube by a Canadian poet called Tanya Davis called How to be Alone, which perfectly sums up exactly what the past three weeks have, and hopefully the next couple of weeks will, feel like.
It’s very lovely, and only four minutes of your life long, so have a look and a listen.