On Solitude and Gratefulness


Český Krumlov

I live alone now.

Sometimes it feels as though I have always lived alone, other days I still can’t believe it. A sadness overcomes me, like a heavy wet towel that drips everywhere I walk with it. I have to clean up the mess, but it never goes away. I still sleep on one side of the bed, the one that’s always been my side, because I don’t know how to fall asleep in the middle. The bed is empty except for the teddy dog, and three Apple devices.

The room is also completely empty, save the bed. I love it and I’ve decided to keep it that way. On Sunday, the daylight savings time came into effect, which means I don’t have to get up in complete darkness anymore. At least for a while. I am not looking forward to the last month of the year. Because winter is another thing I am struggling with.

But I am grateful. I am grateful that we still talk. I am grateful that my parents are who they are, and that they are my parents. I am the only person who gets to say that, and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for the friends I’ve made throughout my life, and also the new ones. Lee, who sits across from me at the office and makes me laugh all day long. The Italian, whom I’ve not expected to be the way he is, but wouldn’t expect any less from him at the same time.

I am grateful for the weekends, too. We took a road trip on Saturday, and I loved that he was the kind of person who actually goes through with impromptu adventure trips across Bohemia. When he says let’s go, we actually do.

He drove, I took care of the music. Compulsory stops for coffee. We managed three different cities, and arrived at our final destination five hours later than we were supposed to, but that turned out to be the right time. Touching on some of the conversation we had in the car, I said to him, this is what I meant before. You need to let things go with the flow. Look at this sunset now. If we’d arrived any earlier, we wouldn’t get to see this. He nodded and stopped patiently with me as I took photos of everything I saw.

Later in the evening he took me home and served a delicious plate of home-cooked food. I watched him as he moved with grace, his fingers carefully arranging the food. I will be okay with just a bowl of soup, I said. I will help you if you can’t eat it all. The plate was enough for three. But I ate alone, and he only watched me. No sounds in the house. I laughed, as he helped me with my coat. After he dropped me off at my door, I walked the four flights of stairs to my flat, feeling ecstatically happy. I thought of all the people I know. All the people I am yet to meet.

Maybe the other half of the bed is empty, but I am not alone at all.