I miss her as soon as I close her bedroom door, and am plunged into solitude for the first time in the day as I walk down the length of the hallway to my room.
But there’s a new energy present as soon as I step across the threshold. I have put the heater on before dinner, so the room is already nice and toasty, and the tube light illuminates it fully. I do a set of stretches and some toning exercises on the floor before climbing into bed.
This is when I am alone with myself. There is absolutely nothing expected of me, and I can read, sing, and think whatever I want. Reading has become a joy. As I approach the end of a chapter of my philosophy book, I count the pages left -- not to see how quickly I can finish, as I would have in school, but to see how long I can possibly make the chapter last. This is new. This is what I had hoped reading would become.
I pause my reading from time to time to check the messages on my phone or to sing a song. With no sheet music or YouTube videos around, I discover the sheer number of songs I know by heart. My performances to myself include everything from Broadway to Indie, usually with choir songs scattered in. I let myself sing more than just a line or two, and I know I am alone.
Here and there, my reading reminds me of experiences I have had, and I can sit there and laugh at them. I can think to the end of my thoughts. My bedtime is a self-imposed eleven o’clock that can be shifted. I can write. If only for now, everything feels so wonderfully simple.
And I miss the day as soon as I switch the light off.