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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

By Myself

A lovely day awaits me. Perfect weather and lots of time to myself. There's a lump, though, in the back of my throat that won't go away. I get lost in memories of trudging through these same old streets when my boys were small. Everything was alive and wonderful—and it still is. It's just that I'm by myself now. I don't have little boys to share an ice cream with. Browsing the shelves of the toy store isn't very interesting. There's no need to stop and roll in the grass.

At Christmastime, they put up the most amazing merry-go-round. Even Christopher (10-years-old) wished he weren't too big to ride. Everybody told me to savor the raising-my-boys-years, and I did. I stayed up late, baked a lot of cookies, and read plenty of stories. I'm glad for that.

But it didn't slow down the clock. Now I'm at home writing and always in the back of my mind thinking about my boys. Is this dysfunctional in some way? Does it mean my life isn't full enough? Or have the years with them been so remarkable I'm forever wanting them back?

I'm a twin. Maybe that's why I never learned to be alone. I hate it the way some people hate vegetables or working out. I can take solitude only for a brief while before I go crazy.

For my birthday one year, my husband sent me to a monastery where the monks had taken a vow of silence. (I had actually requested this in order to "really get away.")  It was serene for about an hour. Then I read Wild Swans cover to cover. Then I tried to call home—something I'd promised not to do. The lack of wireless prevented me, so I started writing and talking to myself. By the time Tim's car appeared in the drive to pick me up, I felt worms crawling under my skin. I can't remember being so happy to see him.

I'm just no good at being by myself.


Lara said...

Hi Bonzie. I wish I could be there to enjoy Metz with you. Your blog keeps me company and I wish I could do the same for you. I am looking forward to an apple tart recipe that can bridge the span from now to the holidays. If only you could spend Christmas in Tucson...

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