Bawlmor, Baltimore to the rest of the world, has given me a glimpse at a parallel universe the past two weeks. With one more ahead of me, the minutes are slowly ticking by as I play mental games to stay sane.
It sounded simple in the beginning – watch two dogs for three weeks while my friend is out of town. I didn’t think about there being any side effects to prolonged city deprivation. This must be what everyone is referring to when they say they’re lonely. If true, then I can understand why every one of my relatives has been rendered incapable of remaining single for more than a month.
The people are the things I miss and don’t miss. Interaction is not a real issue, it’s the sense of knowing life is taking place outside the window even when it has no personal connection. That doesn’t exist in this place. Outside the window all that can be seen are trees and a few houses. There must be people inside, but they never venture out or do so with cat-like grace and remain invisible. A few almost interactions have come to pass when walking the dogs, but people tend to hurry by as if I’m going to bite them…which I might just for the sake of something interesting to discuss.
Shew came for the weekend, providing some temporary relief from the mind bending silence that populates the house. It’s so silent my imagination has run wild. Forced to rise each night to check the doors and windows, I’m convinced someone is waiting to break in for some unknown reason. With him returning to the city, the week ahead seems longer than the one before. Completely desperate for home, friends and routine. I’d scream, but unlike the tree in the forest, I need someone to hear for the scream to count.
What I didn’t expect would come of my prolonged absence – a reaction from Late Night. In the dark hours of the night, fast asleep in my bed, a text arrived. Dead to the world, I didn’t discover the message until I pulled myself from the sheets. “I’ll admit it. I miss you.” Finally! If Baltimore hasn’t been enough to make me crazy, thinking I was the only one stuck with some feelings was doing the trick.
Not to blow it out of proportion or turn this into a big deal. I politely responded with a “:)” allowing it to be acknowledged without becoming a thing. I’m not sure it this comes because I’ve been gone two weeks or because I’ve stopped text messaging Late Night, either way it’s an appreciated gesture. Ironically, when I do return to New York, Late Night will be away, so we have at least two more weeks, if not longer, before we’ll actually be able to resume our awkward encounters.
I’ll start by trying to survive this week.