Last night, I had plans to go to the gym and meet a friend for dinner, however an incapacitating migraine prevented me from following through with my plans, and I cancelled.
I chose to stay home and chill out. Not that that’s too different to a regular night for me. I’m always at home. I’m a homebody.
I decided to go up the road and buy a 6-pack of Coronas and enjoy the late afternoon sun and try and write something. I haven’t written all week. Sometimes my mind just isn’t there. Sometimes it isn’t a priority. And quite often I have decided to quit writing for good.
But here I am. Writing.
A girlfriend phoned me on her way home from work. I told her I was planning on having a Corona. She told me she’d collect her son and drop in and join me.
I decided to cook a gourmet feast for us too, and she could stay for dinner.
“God you’re a good cook Amy” my friend told me as she started eating.
“I know” I replied.
I’m an exceptional cook. I really am. But I often forget how good a cook I am as it’s always just me, and there’s not much point in cooking for yourself. So I find I eat a lot of salads.
We finished our meal (which had the tick of approval from my 6 year old buddy, who informed me that in addition to his Mum, I was his best friend), and went and sat in the garden.
My buddy comes outside and says he wants to make a fire.
“Ok” I say. It appears I really am “crazy Aunt Amy”. Almost anything flies with me.
So, we light a small fire in the backyard. My buddy is delighted.
And then it dawns on me. I haven’t lost that childish innocence about me. Which is good as I don’t take life so seriously, and bad, as I am quite naive. Vulnerable. Easily taken advantage of.
I try to see the good in everyone. But that’s not always a positive. Seeing the good in everyone usually entails a combination of wearing both rose-coloured glasses, and blinkers. They blind you to the reality of a situation.
After our pyromanic episode, we went inside to watch a movie. I didn’t have any kid friendly movies to watch except “Drop Dead Fred”.
For those of you who have watched this movie, you will know that the lesson in this is that until you have self worth, and until you find yourself, you can’t truly be happy. There will always be someone there taking advantage of your childish innocence.
So we watched the movie and then it was time for my friends to leave.
As my girlfriend and my buddy were leaving, he saw me light up a cigarette. That filthy, filthy habit that I swear I’m going to kick.
“Are you going to have a cigarette all by yourself?” He asked.
“I do everything by myself” I responded confidently, and matter-of-factly.
“That’s sad” he replied as he climbed into the car.
His response threw me a little. In fact, it knocked the wind out of me a little.
He had said something similar a few nights ago too as they dropped me home after a night out. As I got out of the car, he asked me “isn’t anyone home?”
“No. It’s just me.”
“Do you want to sleep at our house?” He asked me innocently.
“No, that’s ok. I have my own house. I’m used to being by myself.”
“That’s not fair.”
Children are never alone. And this is what made him say it. They cannot comprehend what solitude is.
I am always alone. I try not to think about it too much, yet the fact was inescapable. And I thought to myself, “is it sad?” And “is it fair?”
And I’m STILL mulling over it. And I don’t really have an answer as to whether or not it is indeed sad or fair.
Which takes me back to the movie.
“Look, you’ve got you now. You don’t need me.”
That’s what Drop Dead Fred says to the female character, Elizabeth, in the movie after she finds her worth, and finds herself. He’s there for her only during the times she has found herself lost. Found herself lost. What a contradictory statement.
And then I had another thought.
If you’ve “got you”, do you not need anyone else?
Of course, we all know the saying about man not being an island.
And then I read a quote from the late Audrey Hepburn.
“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.”
Is my little buddy, who is near three decades my junior, onto something with his observations? Does he see a little bit more than I give him credit for?
So whilst there’s hardly a lesson to today’s article, and more just the dissection of a conversation with a child, I will say this.
My little friend has certainly made me think. Made me question myself. And he made me ask myself the question I think all of us do at some point – “Am I lonely?