Like Belly Buttons

If there was a conversational equivalent to stepping out of the shower and wrapping oneself in a nice, clean bathrobe this would be it. I feel like saying ahhhhhhh and wriggling my toes and letting bluebirds fluff my hair with a towel.

So. How have you been?

Steve and Patrick left yesterday for their second (annual) (apparently) Great Colorado Backpacking Adventure and although I miss them already - well I do. in theory - it has been very... restorative to have no one and nothing to worry about but myself and the twins.

It's so quiet.

Patrick is a great big brother; truly a Pied Piper genius in his ability to create and implement games but my god they always involve shrieking and whoever said something something about the joy of children's laughter had clearly never heard it. Our most recent round of house guests included two (absolutely delightful. love them dearly) small people and as much as I appreciated Patrick's boundless patience and inventiveness and willingness to entertain the younger kids... for four days it sounded like goats were being skinned alive in my basement. Honestly. I could hear them even when I put my head under the bathwater.

So I'm disappointed with myself for breaking my streak here but at the same time I am objectively interested in the fact that I could reach a point of, huh, what should I call it, extro-aversion? that talking to you (or calling my mom, or opening Twitter, or texting a friend, or emailing my brother) became, increasingly and cumulatively, difficult for me. I wouldn't have thought that there was a correlation between physical, actual demands for my attention and the more virtual ones.

After one two many sleep and quiet (quiet. so good) I feel much better now and I had an epiphany. One that I wish I had had much earlier in life because I think it could have saved some relationships that I regret losing. The fact is that I need to be alone. I really need it. A LOT. Every day. And it has nothing to do with you and how much I like or love you or whether or not I will be there for you in a crisis. I will be.

But that wasn't it; I have known that for a while.

The epiphany was that in the future I need to be more honest about it. And I am not going to feel guilty; I am not going to feel like I am just not trying hard enough; and I am not for the love of all that is holy going to try to rally past my endurance because I have attempted that for over twenty years and even when I thought I succeeded, I failed. 

To paraphrase that thing about fools: It's better to be thought a reclusive oddity and spend a sufficient time on your own, than emerge too soon and confirm it.