Lord of the Rings is on the TV. Titch is on her favourite cushion on the sofa. I’ve spent the last hour and a half on the stepper. The laundry in the house is done, every stitch. My feet are sore, but I feel like popping The Two Towers in when this DVD is over and going back to the stepper for a while longer. My piano sits neglected upstairs, the books on my shelf collect dust. I missed my last German lesson and Monday I’ll be far behind if I don’t study tomorrow.
I know that I’m not capable of being completely alone for very long. After a time, I miss people and the buzz of conversation. I fear missing something, so I force myself to mix with the crowd, either at work of with friends, even when I’m tired. Sometimes, despite this, I want to be alone for a while. I daydream of disappearing for a few months with nothing but my books, toys and television. It’s as though all of my ambitions want some time to be aired out and replenished.
Today is one of those days. I look around me at the stack of books that wait for “tomorrow”. They wait for a time when I’ll be calm and energetic enough to do them justice. When I’m tired and fear the days ahead, full of worry and tasks, of stress and responsibility, I fear that day will never come. I remind myself that it is life. It is human nature to despair at the lack of time before us, to feel the years shrink before your eyes as if crushed by a vice whose handle turns and crushes opportunity one year at a time.
As Great Garbo once said, “I want to be alone.” Today, I want a month of isolation. Knowing me, tomorrow I’ll want a party.