Home alone

Alpha just left for Carinthia with her father, to pick up her mother who was getting massages because she got a fresh knee, is my understanding. Beta is in Vienna preparing for a visit to Indonesia. Gamma just sent us an SMS from London, BIN LEBEND ANGEKOMMEN (“I arrived alive”).

There have been ads for a show on television recently, something something SOLITARY CONFINEMENT something, with images of people freaking out because they can’t take 9 days alone. What could be easier? I thought.

Except. Ignoring people who are here is easier to take, it turns out, than dealing with their absence.

Despite the list of activities my wife gave me before she left.

And the list I have myself. Water garden. Tie up tomatoes. Filter pool. Yell at cats and chase them around. Chat with tortoise. Play cello, which has brand new Larsen strings and sounds amazng now.

And other stuff. Walks and stuff. Sleep. Icecream straight out of the container.

The Sense of Being Stared at by Zombies

This morning, after being awoken by kittens at 4 AM after spending my first night alone while my wife was away on business and my children skiing with their grandparents and aunt, and kicking them out into the hall and ignoring their scratching at the door and then falling back to sleep and getting up at 5.30 to feed them and the big cats and then eat breakfast and feed the birds and clean litter boxes and take a shower and shave, I went upstairs to get dressed and standing there in the walk-in closet found the phrase “The Sense of Being Stared at by Zombies” in my head at the same time that I heard something scratching in the walls, much like the sounds taken to be rats in the ceiling or attic, I forget which, at the start of the novel “The Exorcist” (after reading that as a kid I lost any interest in watching the movie), and so stood there, wondering on the one hand what new resident this was I was hearing, a nest of martens, perhaps, or rats or birds or demons (when I thought of demons, another phrase entered my head: “The bad thing about slicing open demons is more demons come out”) and on the other what would differentiate the sense of being stared at by zombies from the sense of being stared at in general, and if it was humorous to imagine Rupert Sheldrake discussing the first draft of his book ultimately published as “The Sense of Being Stared At” with his agent, and his agent advising him to take out the zombies then it might be okay, or if I was one of those people who should not live alone for an extended time.