Thursday, May 28, 2009

Of Hands and Teeth

It’s cold and wet and I’m overcome with a familiar feeling of loneliness and solitude. The heater is on. The dog is licking himself in that way that drives me insane. My 26 year-old sweater smells like fabric softener.

The aimlessness is torture.

I’ve never been a person who copes well with inactivity. I fill my days with work, chores, outings, events, to avoid, at all costs, being left alone with my own thoughts. But in the depths of my busyness, nothing excites me more than the idea of an uncluttered day. Because we are wired to strive for happiness in something ‘other’, regardless of whether that ‘other’ has proven itself to be pleasurable or not.

So today, like on all my other days off work, I went out1. I wandered around Sun Bookshop looking for The Trick is to Keep Breathing but ended up being seduced by zombies yet again. Then I went across the street to Cornershop and spent a solid 3 hours reading, eating, drinking coffee, and awkwardly responding to the subtle flirtations of the cute waiter who is slightly too young and too shaggy to interest me enough to want to pursue him. I put off returning home as long as I could. I even walked back across the street to the cinema to see if it would save me from the inevitable. It didn’t and here I am. Sitting in the quiet warmth of my living room, legs tucked under me, on a folded quilt on the ground, feeling… feeling… feeling alone and surrounded by the deafening noise of a million other sorry people rushing about or sitting quietly alone, inflicting some form of pain upon themselves, all in the same state of aloneness as me.

Oh my God. Have you read this thing I’ve just written? Who am I? Please someone take me out and shake the black eyeliner and razor-blades off of me.

And after you’ve done that, stay for dinner and keep me company.

Because in the three years and four months since I moved to Melbourne, I have spent only one day confined to my house. No. Wait. I did leave the house that day. For breakfast. But I spent the entire rest of the day at home on the couch reading a book. Quite a feat! I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks afterwards.