Over the past 5.5 years, I've taken up extended residence in eleven distinct bedrooms (an average of six months per bedroom, though what this information says about me remains to be seen). Of those eleven, only two have been in single apartments where no one shares the common space with me. Of those two, both have kicked serious ass.
During my first solo living experience in Eugene, I spent most of my time freaking out over a thesis novella that sure as hell wasn't writing itself. I also made do with two plates, two forks, a single bath towel, and a 60-foot ethernet cable that snaked wherever my laptop went since wifi was far, far too expensive. Still, I had a really fantastic time, and my first experiences singing falsetto in the shower took place there because no one was listening and I could do whatever the hell I goddamned pleased.
Then I moved to San Francisco, and was thrust back into the roomie experience. Those 17 months (yes, I counted) had their ups and downs, and by the end I was jonesing for a change... which is all I'm going to say on the subject (again, I counted: 17 months). And so long story short I moved into the Hobbit Hole, and life is swell.
Except for I'm going crazy.
Something happens when you realize no one else is around to judge your every move. I'm not a slob (my place is, in fact, much cleaner) and I don't parade around naked all the time (only like 40% of the time). Instead - like I hinted at above - I've simply gone mental. I tend to hop around instead of walk, and I'll sing and talk to myself in varying tones depending on the level of energy I'm feeling... which, now that I live alone, is curiously much higher than it's ever been before. So I'm a hopping, singing mess, and I also snap my fingers and clap my hands to accompany the nonsensical utterances that slip from my mouth before I'm even aware they're forming. I'm a shrill one man band of guttural noises, and damn if it doesn't feel awesome.
The most self-conscious I get about this behavior is when I wonder if the upstairs neighbors can hear me through the ceiling, after which I figure that if they can, they're probably much less likely to want to exchange awkward 'hello's outside the building, in which case yay all the better for me.
In addition to the noisemaking, I spend far too much time standing totally still in random corners of the apartment, taking in the aesthetically pleasing view and absolutely relishing the sight of how good my furniture, books, and wall art look when placed together within a little-wood-cabin-type environment. It's all I can do to refrain from gargling like a mockingbird or some such shit and slapping my hands against my thighs in a drumroll of delight - except that's exactly what I end up doing, so so much for self restraint.
Then there's the takeout I have delivered and eat with leisure while reclining on the couch and watching exactly what I want on Netflix Instant - which, by the way, no longer suggests I catch up on Teen Mom or Keeping up with the Kardashians. And there's the orderly shelf of condiments in the refrigerator that are all super spicy and don't have to compete for space with some bullshit like mayonnaise or organic Soy Sauce. And the total absence of hair-clogged drains, period refuse in the garbage bin, and morning waits to shower with whatever lukewarm water is left. And the silence! And the naked cooking! And the pitch-perfect playlist that's never interrupted by something less than stellar. It's almost too much. Almost.
I mentioned some of this to my friend on the phone the other day, and he said that he was just thinking about how glad he is to live with someone, because if left to his own devises he'd have no choice but to turn into a weirder and weirder version of his already strange self. To which I rolled my eyes and thought about how he had no idea what he was missing.