They still didn't have a car, a week later. The rugrat had temporarily relocated to her boyfriend's -- with his two brothers and his mother -- so she could get to and from work. That left her alone all week.
It wasn't so bad coming home from work alone, since rugrat came home after her anyway. But now she wasn't waiting up til 1:30 or 2 to be sure the rr got home ok; instead, she was hitting the sack at the more reasonable hour of midnight.
Other things had changed around the apartment too. When she did the dishes, she didn't come back an hour later to a full sink of newly dirtied ones. She didn't open the fridge door to the smell of leftovers hastily tossed aside without tight seals. When she picked up the end tables in the living room, they weren't full of junk again when rr came home from work and unloaded her handbag.
Clothes and shoes tossed into rr's bedroom didn't start creeping back out into the hallway. The shower didn't have a layer of soap scum near the drain, which was not clogged with long, dark brown hair. When the computer was turned off for the night, it stayed off. No tell-tale lights left on to indicate that someone had come and gone in her absence.
No voices murmuring softly at night as rr and bf tried to argue quietly. No tv running in the background because rr fell asleep before turning it off. No waking up out of a sound sleep because someone else got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
In short, all those little signs of someone else were no longer there. Proof of life. Proof that someone other than herself existed in her little corner of reality. Proof that she was not alone. Gone. She got up alone, she went to bed alone. If she bothered with dinner, she ate it alone. She watched tv alone.
She was even alone in her office all day today except for the two students who stopped by. She had to leave the office to interact with others -- reprographics, the library, the tech office to order an lcd projector for next week. All told, less than one of her seven hours of work. The rest, alone.
Tonight, she went to a movie after work and sat all alone in a theatre full of people. She was alone walking to the subway later -- alone on a street teeming with life. Alone on the subway. Alone on the platform waiting for the train. Alone coming home and walking in the door. Alone when she ordered and ate pizza because she hadn't been able to grocery shop without the car. Alone the several times she became teary-eyed over the evening.
Alone now. Alone going to bed very soon because she can't keep her eyes open. Because she's exhausted herself with being alone.
the world it won't wait for you
its got its own things to do
the sun's gotta rise and drive another night away
and as i listen to the silence
i can hear thunder in the distance
Colin Hay, My Brilliant Feat:
photo mine, taken at Caramoor, Katonah, NY