Thursday, June 2, 2011
I may call myself a recluse but I'm not really, I have too many friends and neighbors to actually qualify.
I do however like a lot of time to myself and it seems to run in my family. After a day or so of too much input we have to run home and draw the blinds and pull the covers over our heads. We seem to gather together our scattered energies that way.
I've been this way since I was a really little kid and my mom pulled me out from under the blankets and dropped me at the bus stop.
What could she do? There were laws to be observed...
And then of course adolescence came along and I discovered men which kept me out and about, and then college and work and marriage and kids of my own--you know the drill.
And now there's retirement. Hallelujah! I'm reading all the books I missed out on and never listen to radio or TV or even go out much except for long walks, blessedly alone. I also go to the symphony, the park, the botanical garden...
There are recluses who, Kazinsky-like, just hate people and are just too busy writing manifestos to bother with socializing.
And agoraphobics who really are afraid to go out.
And older folks who subsist on so little money that they can't afford to ask anyone in for coffee. Too many of those...
And quite a few of us, as the years go by, have lost our friends and close relatives to death and as nice as young people are and neighbors newly met (say at the senior center). They are strangers to us when we long for people to 'remember' with. We're just adjusting.
I can't speak for anyone else but I've always valued my time, I'm even jealous of it and won't hand it over to just anybody except my really good friends. I have four of them and they're scattered around the USA so when I want to see them I have to take my shoes off, get scanned and get on a plane. Next spring I'm going to Europe for a month where I'm going to see all the big cities and sit in art galleries and in front of the duomo in Florence and Milano and go into a trance of appreciation and gratitude. None of my friends are trance-prone like I am and they want to be a certain place at a certain time and I don't have to deal with that so much anymore more. I can say, "Go there and I'll meet you at the Pantheon, Wednesday, 2pm--we'll have lunch."
I do miss a man's company more than I care to admit. But I can't eat my cake and have it too ( or whatever ) so aside from the occasional 'how do' I live without.
I am fortunate in my reclusiveness. I enjoy it and appreciate it and I've been longing for it since I sprang from my mother's womb.
For me it's a wonderful choice and a tremendous relief.