It amazes me.
For the past three or four years, though, I've essentially been living by myself, and I've come to like it in a subdued manner. I miss companionship, late night conversations, meals made for two, plans carried out. I miss physical intimacy, help in the garden and shoveling the walk, shared expenses, grocery lists and accomplishments. On the other hand, I'm happy to wake when I do and not feel the need to be quiet and unobtrusive in deference to another's sleep. I like playing my music loud, or not at all. I like making my own hours and cherish my ever-changing cheese collection, plastic baggies of deli meats and over-abundant spicy andouille sausage supply. I don't mind--and perhaps even prefer--coming home to an empty house that holds no surprises.
But I do know this: living alone has made me physically and intellectually lazy. Lately, I've been feeling emotionally lethargic as well, as if things that mattered much to me over many years no longer do. Challenges are unchallenging. I imagine myself groundhogging through the better part of the winter, awakening to see my shadow and deciding, what the hell, lets sleep another season. I have a notion that is is probably not the healthiest way to live, but am not motivated enough to change right now. Too much Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed, not enough Beatles and Stones.
That will change. I haven't been writing aside from these blogs; I'm stuck, the characters in my book are somehow immobile, their feet mired in the pages. I'm used to them being my company, my friends and critics, and their inactivity fosters mine. I'll soon find a thread--a lifeline, really--and they'll waken from their hibernation with more stories to tell, more adventures for me to chronicle, but in the meantime they are about as alive as poured concrete statues.
I once wrote that I like my characters a lot more than most people I know, and this earned an anonymous response from someone who claimed I was at best demented and at worst subject to deistic fantasies. This is entirely possible, and even probable. It's easier to create universes and small lives in solitary than it is in a crowd, and I've always believed a huge, god-like ego is necessary to invent the full world of a poem, a painting, a symphony or a novel.
Part of all this, I think, is winter. I'm of the opinion that deep within our lizard brain are vestigial needs, including a desire to hibernate when the hunting and gathering is slim. (There's even a theory that contagious yawning [I yawn, you yawn, every body yawns] is nature's way of ensuring that we all hibernate at the same time. )
OK, that was a digression. What I am looking for here is a justification to stay lazy at least until the jonquils come up... What I should do is pretend I don't live alone, fill my house with friends, rededicate myself to the creative process and come up with at least eight ideas for the Great American Novel. Starting tomorrow.