The days after lots of social interaction are always the worst.
When I don’t see anyone for a long period of time, I can almost kid myself that living in this little high rise burrow is a normal way of life, but then arriving home after being with the ‘normals’ I start to realise how lonely and isolated I really am.
That’s not to say that my weekend by the sea was idyllic. Nothing is ever perfect.
- There was the concern that my flat may be burgled whilst I was away.
- The worrying about my cat feeder not working and coming back to two kitty skeletons instead of two sulky toms and clumps of fur everywhere.
- Then there was the rabbit.
No, I don’t have a long eared lop, a Dutch Dwarf or a cheeky Chinchilla.
Sally brought the bunny.
Lots of it too.
I know I’m being a bitch because there’s nothing wrong with being chatty and having lots to say, and it was great catching up with her, and super kind of her taking a miserable old cow like me away for the weekend, but it got to the stage that there was no silence in my days at all and I got sick of hearing my own voice, let alone hers.
Even when we were watching TV she would pipe up, just as something pertinent was happening and I had to strain to catch what was being said so’s not to lose the plot, without looking like I was ignoring her.
How do people manage this? I assume I used to have this skill, or (more likely) perhaps I told the offending friend/boyfriend/flatmate to shut the fuck up and watch the programme already.
Even when, at her suggestion, we went and laid on loungers on the beach ‘to read’, I’d never get beyond one paragraph without her piping up with something or other and totally breaking my concentration again.
Doesn’t everyone appreciate a comfortable silence every now and then?!
Even before my ‘crash’, when I was out working amongst the normal, the whole point of seeing a movie or reading a book was to lose myself in someone else’s story and forget where/who I was.
If you watch a comedy you want to hear every punchline or witty aside; If you’re reading a novel you want to get engrossed by the end of the first chapter; If you’re watching a thrilling drama, you want to be able to work out who the killer is, not listen to someone else’s annoying, speculating yap, yes?
I have to admit that I tend to show very short shrift indeed to anyone inadvertently breaking into my private world in these circumstances. In my 20’s I once hurled someone’s copy of The Sun across the Tube carriage because he kept wafting it in my face and brushing my arm with it when I was trying to read. I did fire two warning shots by (a) giving him a dirty look, then (b) saying a very icy ‘Excuse me’ which he chose to ignore, so it was his own fault really that I had to resort to (c)…
I am, of course, a lot more chilled and tolerant nowadays (hurray for medication), but I live alone apart from two mainly silent animals and so am used to a lot of quiet in my day, and endless superfluous chatter can be, if anything, even more intolerable to me nowadays.
But, apart from cracking once and raising a hand to silence Sal after the umpteenth interruption to my current fave programme (which earned me about 20 mins of, albeit, stony silence – bliss!), I think I coped very well.
Because we also cooked for one another.
Went out to lunch.
Sunned ourselves by the sea.
Went for long walks on the beach.
And yes, for the most part, I very much enjoyed having someone to have some girl time with.
And ironically, when i got home, I immediately missed the chatter and felt the solitude hit hard and brought with it all the troubles and pending decisions, which, surprise surprise, did not leave the building when I did.
My lack of funds.
My need to find a job.
My medication situation.
My fear of all of the above and so much more.
And it became apparent that there are worse things to live with than a bit too much rabbit.
And these problems are only enhanced by the sound of silence.
Ooops where did that bit of tumbleweed flitting across the carpet come from?
Missing your company Sal, even though you do prattle on a bit….
PS Any non Brits wondering where the term ‘rabbit’ comes from, please find the below cockney ditty by the one and only Chas & Dave!