Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alone: Better Than a Horse's Head in Your Bed


It's like a mafia guy in the movies grasped me by the hair over a *sinkful of silence, shoving my face down into a basin of Alone, yanking me up intermittently to bark, while I gasp for air: "Alone time? You wanted alone time?! You'll get your alone time, now!"
 (*I was going to write 'toilet' instead of 'sink,' because I think that's what mafia-type guys do in the movies. But I'm afraid that the number of times the word toilet appears in this blog is becoming conspicuous.)

For so long, there was nonstop hectic. Nonstop people, nonstop noise, nonstop "I should be doing this, or that."

Then suddenly, after blessedly long family/America time, I'm back in Europe. And the nonstop noisemaker whom I birthed is with grandparents in another country, and a certain someone else is away on a long trip on another continent. And I've not yet been back from travel long enough for the cogs to have engaged in the gears again, to have plans and activities and feel like I'm living life here.

The initial return to Europe always feels alienating. The sky always seems gray, the temperature chill, my clothes too bright, my speech with the giveaway American R-sound like an impermeable border patrol between me and relaxed conversation. It's always a shock to my system when I get back to Europe and, without thinking, naturally, meet the eyes of strangers. I flash meaningless but harmless, tiny smiles, and am met by stony faces. Or so it feels for the first week or two.

So maybe I wasn't ready yet for the current empty space, this silence. Only my thoughts are noisy at the moment. It's my own fault, but I've erected a barrier of brooding. Usually my little girl knocks it down before it can be built in a really sturdy fashion. I miss my girl - the cuddles, the giggles, the drawings, the funny faces, the incitement to play, to go outside, to laugh. The mafia guy is taunting me with the memory of the giggles. Heck, I'd even take the bickering about bedtime, the messes, the constant interruptions right now.

I should probably go out and make my own noise. Call a friend. Bike into town. Wrestle my introverted, brooding self to the ground, force her to chat with friendly neighbors. At least tackle some chore that's always hanging over my head. Worrying, fretting, brooding - it's so useless, isn't it?

But then, I know all the noise will surround me again very soon, the gears will creak back into motion that can't be halted, and I'll crave peace again. I flinched with pain at my blazing sunburn last month, but relished it, too, because I knew it would be so, so long until I might again be so drenched with sun.

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