The Blogger Dashboard has a post advising us about "scheduled downtime." I am experiencing the most intense craving for time alone. It isn't necessarily happy time alone, it isn't vegging out in front of the tv or reading a novel time alone. And it isn't working on my novel time alone, because I've discovered that taking on a big project to replace the time you used to spend talking/hanging with a significant other is not a one-to-one tradeoff (esp. if you don't actually stop hanging out & talking with the person). Novel month is still young, but I haven't written anything in days, and I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for the project (though not for my fledgling story). Anyway, THIS is my first love, at least as far as writing projects are concerned. Novel-writing feels like an illicit affair.
So, time alone, yes. Friday and Saturday I talked to almost no one. I went to yoga and baked cookies and cleaned my room and cleaned my apartment and flaked out on all previously planned social events and made no new ones. I graded papers, though not as many as I ought to have. I sat on my bed and listened obsessively to the same few songs and made a collage. I lay on my bed and stared at the wall; I lay on my couch and stared at the quadrilateral of sunlight on the floor. I held the cat. Sunday, I returned to civilization, better-slept but with a lot of work I still wanted to do and vague misgivings about talking to actual human beings, even friendly ones. It was nice, though, having brunch with good friends, talking to my mom: I realized that I was suddenly much more articulate about everything going on in the relationship drama department. Later, I had a fancy dinner with my roommate's parents, which I was dreading but which turned out to be lovely and a lot of fun. And then there was another late-night conversation which resolved nothing. So much for being better-rested.
Now it's Monday, I put in nearly three days of hermit-style living, and I find myself still teetering on the edge of being ready to dive back in to the whirl of projects and parties and concerts and hanging out and cooking dinner and catching up and phone calls and... just being alone, moping a little, playing the same songs over and over again (luckily my roommate's out of town, 'cause I get the sense she's not won over by the Magnetic Fields quite like I am), getting stuff done. But it feels lonelier, and harder to do. And there's the voice in my head that says, If you drop out of too many things, the connections you have to people start to weaken, and then you have to build it all up again when you finally feel social in a month or so... And there's the fairytale - is it nature or nurture that plants the fairytales in every girl's head? - that my mind keeps escaping to, that this and this will lead to realizations of true, almost desperate love: unlikely, but at least I don't imagine a white horse!
I told you I was rambling.
A junkie on the street (weaving in a way that made it hard to figure out how to get by him although he wasn't exactly blocking the way) to me: "Just 'cause the cops are here doesn't stop me from lovin' you." Ew! Creepy.
At the dog-run, yesterday, a bunch of dogs got into a fight. In less than a minute, their owners had separated them. Another junkie who was watching from outside the dog-run said something about "vicious dogs" to a woman who had an enormous, NOT vicious but a touch aggressive, American bulldog. She made a comment back. The junkie had more to say. The next thing you know, her boyfriend got involved, and things heated up. From inside the dog-run, the boyfriend gestured to the junkie to come on in and fight him if that's what he wanted. Other people tried to calm everyone down. People from outside the dog-run shouted that they'd call the police pretty soon. The guy whose dog got the worst of the fight said, "It was my dog, it's all right, leave it alone," and left. No one else would walk away. The boyfriend was starting to look like a real jerk. I mean, c'mon, dude. You're a tall, good-looking, well-dressed white guy with a pretty girlfriend and a dog, and you're fighting a poor Latino junkie? Please: walk away. You've already won that fight! You win it every day. You have all the power; you can blow him off, head for the other side of the dog-run, and no one will think any less of your honor or hers (or your dog's). Sheesh.
In the end, the junkie left, everyone calmed down, and the cops circled the park a few times.
Nicole's kids are changing the way they talk. There is nothing harder than a lifestyle change, unless it's admitting that you're changing even when you never really wanted to and didn't think it was possible. She deserves a pat on the fiddlin' back.
Kid's Health is an awesome resource.
Rambling finis, for now.