Home Again, Home Again
I did, however, learn a few important lessons. First, never watch Cast Away the night before your loved ones are due to get on an airplane to fly home. Second, a single bottle of beer provides a complete and nutritious meal for lunch. Third, too much time alone is not good for me.
Normally, my brain is distracted by the comforting sounds of domestic bliss, such as the screeching “you’ve been on/in the phone/computer/bathroom all day,” the soulful tunes of 50 Cent (“I'll take you to the candy shop, I'll let you lick the lollipop”), or the blaring, ear-shattering din that comes from the family room where one child is trying to watch television, talk on the phone, and listen to music on the computer all at once. When I was the sole occupant of the house, though, I had no such distractions.
Instead, I did something dangerous. I thought. Yes, that’s right. I rummaged through my brain, and what I found in there was not pretty. I discovered quite a bit of guilt--a ruined marriage, breaking up my son’s carefree life with two parents, my own failures at work, my own failures as a husband to my current wife. That guilt led to some moping and sulking and depression. Which meant, of course, that despite my freedom, I had a rather miserable time of it.
You’d think that I could get past some of my feelings, that I could learn to appreciate the simple joy of an empty house and no responsibility. Next time, I vow to do a better job of taking advantage of such a gift. Now, if only my mother-in-law could have another stroke so I can test it out.