Caleb is going to Asia for work on Saturday, for two weeks, and I’m preparing myself for loneliness. It’s been a year since I’ve slept without him for more than a night, and I’m out of practice. Being alone is a skill that is difficult to learn, and easy to lose, like a language.
His departure coincides with a lull in work, of course. For the next week, at least, I’ll have very little to keep my days structured.
Last night, he worked until 3am, so I had a good test run. I took Franke for a long walk around the neighborhood, and then lay in bed, reading the laborious “Wolf Hall”, until I fell asleep.
It reminded me of being in Buenos Aires, where I lived for two months, two summers ago. Then, all I wanted was to be alone. I was exhausted and lost. I wanted my time to be my own, not dictated by the needs of other people.
My existence was sort of suspended there, and I was afraid 90% of the time. The neighborhood I was living in was dangerous, I barely spoke elementary Spanish, and I didn’t know a single person. Hardest of all, I had no work to do, and nothing scheduled. The fear sharpened everything. It made me more present in my own life. It was a pleasurable feeling.
This morning, I woke up, already sliding back into that sort of mindset, and looked out the window. Outside, the wind was moving the trees in rough swells. They looked like characters in a Terrence Malick film. I lay watching them for a while, thinking, focusing, and then got up out of bed, where I had planned to stay all day, to make coffee.