Andy is in New York on a business trip, and it’s weird for me to be here in California alone. I mean, I have Rupert and Sebastian, but we all came out here with Andy because of his amazing new job. So to be here without him feels strange, like these few days exist outside of time. Adding to that sensation is the fact that I have only spoken to people I was buying things from in the past four days.
I have spent these days totally inside my head. I have a list of things to do, but none of them is a scheduled event. I can do them whenever I want over this stretch of days. So I’ve lived a bit like an infant. I eat and sleep as these desires hit me. Monday night, I ate ice cream for dinner. I slept on the couch for a few hours because of a bad headache and then I woke up and ate pasta at 11:00 p.m. I watched TV while the cats played, and I stared into their little faces and told them they are my heart.
It sounds like I’m being reclusive and weird, but this is just the way I am. It is my natural state of being. I like it this way. I don’t need as much human contact as a regular person. I don’t know how I got to be this way. I think maybe my dad is also like this, but in a more Thoreau way. My Jesus year is supposed to be about growing, but I get tired of growing sometimes. Applying for jobs and submitting short stories makes me weary. Putting myself out there uses muscles I hope I’ll have someday, and borrowing against the future like that is exhausting.
Speaking of muscles, I’m trying to learn to exercise. It’s not a metaphor this time. I go to the fitness center in my apartment building and spend half an hour on the elliptical. Sometimes, I try the treadmill, but I can’t quite get the hang of it. The belt moves on its own, you know. It’s freaky. I don’t like the elliptical, but I’m not scared of it like I am on the treadmill. I can only do thirty minutes at a time because I am out of shape and because I hate to exercise. One of these probably caused the other, but I was never good at logic.
On Sunday afternoon, I started rereading one of my favorite books, and I find that I remember very little of it. Memory is uneven that way. I remember a lot about high school math—easily getting an A in algebra when I was a freshman, getting my first and only detention sophomore year, and constantly clashing with the teacher during pre-calculus my junior year—but I don’t remember any of the actual math. I’ve been thinking about the past for a variety of reasons. I tried to remember when it was that I first read this book, but I can’t. It was probably in high school, but I’m not sure. A lot of favorite things happen that way. They sneak in when I’m not paying attention. I don’t know when I first tasted mint chocolate chip ice cream. It feels like it has always been there.
There is much time for this sort of thinking lately, and I’ve been indulging all sorts of trains of thought. I keep suspecting that I should be bored, that I should be having a different experience, that I’m not reacting correctly to being by myself for these few days. The truth is, though, that I could use one more day to finish my book and count the stripes on Sebastian’s face. My solitude is coming to an end, though. In a few hours, I’ll pick up a friend at the airport, and he will get the honor of my first conversation in four days. I’m sure I will say something strange or at least strangely. Re-entry can be tricky, but I’m ready. I cleaned my apartment, took a shower, and put on real pants.
I can do this.