“Home Alone (Middle-Aged Married Man Version)”


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Author: Nathan Graziano


man's best friend 3


GrazianoDespite his chilling relationship with his sister, English Romantic poet William Wordsworth also had a deep appreciation for solitude. Wordsworth believed that solitude was a prerequisite for the “inner eye” to conjure images that would bring about spiritual “happiness.”

As a writer, I understand that solitude is essential to my work. When I put these words together, I’m usually alone, trying to find the right words to recreate what I’m seeing through my inner eyes, but mostly failing.

So, needless to say, I’m grateful for my “alone time.”

However, the last time I lived alone—something some of you have never experienced—was in 2001, when I rented a second-floor apartment in a duplex in Concord. At that time, a young single man worked as a high school teacher and could still live alone.

I lived on my own for about a year, then moved into a flat in Manchester with my friend, a science teacher at the same school where I taught, to save some cash by splitting the rent. Then I met my wife and we moved in together…

Finish.

But I’ve found that the further away I get from the experience of living alone, the more I romanticize it, washing it with nostalgia.I will fondly recall being immersed in the silence without having to pick up my stuff as it was all my stuff.

Let’s be honest: There’s no married person who hasn’t fantasized about having their own place.

Last week, the opportunity to own my own place presented itself to me. My wife and her family went on vacation to the Caribbean while our two adult children were in school. However, due to my teaching responsibilities at Southern New Hampshire University, I was unable to reunite with my wife.

So for eight days straight, I had the place to myself—my pug Buster was still here, but no one was in the house. For eight days, I lived alone for the first time since 2001.

While I do enjoy the quiet of being home alone and the freedom to come and go as I please—although my wife and I have never suffocated each other—I’m also reminded of those bad habits. By that time, I had grown up.

For example, when my wife’s plane leaves the tarmac, my diet goes into hell. I don’t think I eat vegetables all week, once a day, and whatever that meal consists of, it’s either frozen or prepared by someone else.

I also noticed that no one was walking around the house to wake me up in the morning, I slept like a hibernating bear and sometimes didn’t get up until 1pm

I really miss my wife’s company. One thing I forget about being alone is that it can get lonely. Solitude is wonderful when you seek it, but it can feel quite isolating when you don’t.

My good friend Billy Squier, rock star and poet, captured this sentiment perfectly in his song “Lonely Is the Night” when he wrote: “Lonely is the night / When you find When you are alone.

Wordsworth would have been proud.

It might be another 23 years – if ever – before I live on my own again. One never knows. But the nostalgia I once imagined living alone in the “inner eye” is now gone.


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Send fan mail (or other constructive criticism) to ngrazio5@yahoo.com



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