Saturday, March 20, 2010

No matter how close we are thrown together by circumstance, we are unknown to each other

I am oddly comfortable with solitude. I am discovering many are not. Lately, I have been spending a great deal of time counseling others to accept that in order to be comfortable in the world, one must know thyself. Notice I didn't say one had to be comfortable with themselves-- for most this is the impossible dream. I am not one of the pretty, shiny people and never will be so I will go from birth to death intensely uncomfortable in my own skin. However, at this point in my life I am quite comfortable in my own head murky as that square foot of real estate may be. I liked living alone in college and even when I had a roommate in medical school, my favorite nights were the ones where I had the place all to myself. People warned me marriage would ruin my desire for solitude, but my husband and I have a wonderful balance, respecting our mutual desire for companionship and reclusiveness and knowing when each is necessary. Plus the careers we have chosen ensure we spend more time with coworkers, patients and cold hospital corridors than we do with each other-- a blessing and a curse. For now, I bask in the joy of silence as I watch the dogs nap on the floor and let my mind wander, my imagination venturing forth in the quiet apartment able to run free unfettered by the fear of the harsh judgment of another. Maybe that is why I enjoy solitude. Like my mother and grandfather, I am a story teller. With all the characters running around in my brain it is impossible to ever be alone. How could I be lonely?

On a side note, yesterday it was beautiful, balmy, sunny and 65 degrees. Today I awake to fog and a nasty snow-rain mixture howling through the metropolis. I have lived in this city all my life and never will I understand it, but I do enjoy the unpredictable.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rule #15: Know your way out

I have been a fan of horror movies since I was a teenager. When I was a kid, my mother had serious rules about what I could and couldn't watch; rules which were just begging to be broken by a precocious child. I remember an older cousin letting me stay up late one night while he watched It. Scared the bejesus out of me and I realized in order to provoke fear in others the trick is to play on the ordinary and innocent. Children, toys, bathrooms. Twist what people come in contact with on a daily basis into something dangerous and unpredictable. Voila: fear. The sensation intrigues me; the way the heart pounds, instantaneous clammy hands and dry mouth, the heightened senses straining for every potential abnormality in the world around you. It is never the movie itself which scares me, it is the aftermath, the way my mind conjures bloodthirsty monsters in every shadow and under every bed. My own refuge of home becoming unsafe due to demons of my own creation. I wonder if someday I will become immune to these effects just as the movie itself no longer scares me. If one day my imagination will not be as vivid, dulled by cruel time and the ceaseless barrage of life. I hope not. We are no longer chased across an open plain by a roaring lion yet the world remains ethereally dangerous. Since we cannot pinpoint a precise threat much of the time, fear is entertainment. I am frequently bored with the mundane and I long to be entertained.