Monday, 20 September 2010
27. Living alone
Shared accommodation can be a struggle at times. Even if you’re friends with all your flat-mates, living with them is always a very different process. It’s not like you come to dislike them as a person, but often the best of friends merely have rather incompatible living styles. It’s one of those intangible, wishy-washy “facts” of life. You simply learn unexpected things about them, the kind of things that only occur in a living environment. Banal things, like they're always using the telly when you want to watch Eastenders or their right foot clicks when they walk, creating audible discomfort akin to Chinese water torture. Having dealt with situations like that, you’d assume that you’d relish living alone. The independence, the freedom, the not having to deal with petty squabbles, the ability to wash dishes and tidy up on your own terms. It truly sounds glorious.
But no. No, it isn’t. There is nothing worse than being in a flat or house by yourself for an extended period of time. After the honeymoon period of a day or two, you are unceremoniously forced to deal with the reality that you’re just not that self-sufficient a person. You can’t entertain and look after yourself without any kind of outside stimulation. You are boring. Without other people in your house, you are nothing. You are a shell of inactivity, no longer motivated to exist due to a complete lack of human interaction. Dishes pile up as no one makes you feel shame for being such a slob. You start talking to yourself to make up for the lack of impromptu conversations you were used to before. Ultimately, for every little fight over late bills and dirty laundry you no longer have to suffer, you also lose every enjoyable aspect of cohabitation. No one to talk about your pointless day with, no one to have a couple of drinks with... hell, you can’t even actively ignore your flat-mates anymore because they’re not there.
Living alone for any period more than a few days will make you acutely aware that you are tedious, unsociable hermit who is afraid to leave the house for fear of needing to shave and having the dappling sun scorn your unhealthily pasty skin.