10/10/13

Fears and Crazy Thoughts . . .

No. I've never stayed here. But I would!
As I spend more and more time "alone" (no longer in our old, family house and with our daughter only with me half the time, etc.) I have been thinking more and more lately about the reality of being "alone" - no not in an emotional sense (we've talked about this) but in a really, truly practical way.

An example - I was relighting the pilot on my oil furnace (my appointment has this old, totally out of code, in-the-floor thing that is horribly inconsistent and a burn hazard to naked feet and the place while I'm gone) and I was having issues getting the valves to line up right (turn this one 90 degrees to the right, then that one 180 degrees to the left and then push this button, then hold this down while lighting a match, etc.) and I just kept thinking "Man, would I love an extra set of hands right now - or someone to know if I do this wrong and blow myself up."

Now clearly this is NO reason to stay married (this is a reason to get a roommate, a live-in caregiver, or one of those "Life Alert" bracelets). It is the polar opposite of why to stay married (spouses, I don't think, are intended as security blankets and status checkers) but that is not why we're chatting today (you do all know this blog is really just free therapy for me, right?). NO - this is about an OLD fear that has recently come back.

Between 1998 and late 2003 I was alone all the time - by choice. I loved it. I had roommates (to help with pilot lights and share utility bills with) but I used to really enjoy just having time all alone and one place and time I had that was on business trips.

Sure, if I went to a city where I knew people (New York City was common and I have friends and women who I used to very much enjoy seeing later in the evenings) I would be social but, otherwise, it was just time to be alone and relax. And I would . . . except for one thing.

I would never actually "live" in a hotel room. And by that I mean I would keep all my clothes (clean or dirty) neatly folded or hanging and inside my closet or suitcase. My shoes would be carefully tucked away each night. I dried every drop of water from the sink, vanity, and shower after I got ready for the day. I made my bed to the EXACT specifications I found it each morning. I took all my trash out when I was done and put it in public waste bins. I left my rooms so pristine that I once got a call on my cell phone that was an inquiry, from the front desk, to make sure I was alive and well (they feared I checked in, put my stuff in my room and just disappeared, I guess).

Why? Simple. I had this fear (that seemed very rational and real) that I would die in a hotel room and that the room would be a mess so it would compound the confusion and the chaos of the situation and my parents, who would have to come pick up my body (I know you don't have to actually "pick up" the body anymore) and they would be criticized that I was such a slob (or whatever). Yes. This was a real fear wrapped around crazy thoughts, fed through and irrational needle's eye.

But I'm alive now and doing just fine but I do think more and more about how little solace I took in just having someone "there" who cared for me enough to claim and dispose of my corpse no matter what condition my hotel room was in when she got the call.