1.13.2011

Living Arrangements

I have been busy these last couple days. My "turn the spare bedroom into a living room" project morphed into a "turn the old tv into a fish tank" project, and the two things are keeping me pretty busy.

Astasia and I occupy the second floor of her parents' house, and we are starting to look for ways to make it more like our own apartment. Somehow, having our own living room makes a difference. The bedroom can now be a place of sleeping and sexing, and the living room a place of tv watching and tv destroying. Even the dogs seem to far prefer this new arrangement

Before moving here, I was an independent bachelorette. For five years I occupied a small two bedroom house in a poor neighborhood in western Canada, the last two of those years were sans roommate. Living completely and utterly alone affords one certain freedoms and privileges that other people don't have. The freedom to do the dishes once a month, for example, or live as though on a nudist colony. You can declare any room with a book case a "library" and then masturbate there, loudly, if you so desire. You can use Bruce Lee wall hangings as curtains.

Blissful as that sounds, however, I shudder to admit that I am like most people in that those specific freedoms are not worth the loneliness that accompanies them. I have always craved companionship, even when I refused to admit to it. I loved having sole control of the remote but I would have happily forfeited that control for some quality snuggling. In the library. Loudly.

Now I have the companionship I crave, and more of a home than I could possibly afford. In these days between holiday torture and scholastic torture, I'm attempting to exert some control over our small space. I have not yet declared any room a library. It's better that way.

It would be easy to feel a disproportionate amount of nostalgia for the house I once inhabited and the liberty I exercised while there, but I think it would be wrong to forget the reality of the situation, my extreme loneliness, DVD's played on repeat, the mouse infestation, the ever climbing rent. Sometimes when I live in someone else's house it's easy to say, " I remember when I could cook dinner naked and then eat it while watching Star Trek and doing ninja training during commercials" but the truth of the matter is I wouldn't go back to that life. Not in a million years.

Being part of a family means you trade in certain freedoms for privileges of far higher value. Freedom is meaningless without anyone to share it with.

5 comments:

  1. Amen, sister. What a great post! It's beautifully written from the writing craft point of view. I saw you naked, I saw your older house, I saw it all. The prose took me there.

    Well done!

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  2. I live alone today and count myself happy. But I doubt very I could have lived alone at age 30 and counted myself happy.

    Very good writing, by the way!

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  3. @Lorena - Pervert! And thank you. ;)

    @Paul - I forgot to mention that my conclusion was most definitely from my point of view. I think everyone weighs these things differently, and at different times in their lives. Also, thank you.

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  4. I agree, Grasshopper.

    Timing seems to be important here. It's my understanding that our hormone levels drop off as we grow older -- if so, that could have something to do with the change of attitude I experienced.

    On reflection, I think, too, I just got tired of the sort of abusive relationships I seemed prone to get into (It seems I have great taste in friends but lousy taste in mates). So I not only took to living alone, but became celibate as well.

    Sometimes, it's really hard to figure out why we do what we do.

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  5. I just realized I have never lived alone. Solitude is a treat I crave occasionally but have never had to make it my main meal.
    Although, I still have the freedom to cook naked since our roomie never comes upstairs and the baby doesn't mind quick access to her favourite food.

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