Friday, June 03, 2011

About face

Cohabitation is hard, and I keep trying to recall recent stints of living alone. But I can't, because I've been living with people for years. Friends, family, residencies, and kind strangers everywhere I've gone. The times I've lived alone have been mostly miserable. I grew up sharing a bedroom with my sister. When I went to college, I had an unbearable roommate, and then two semesters of a single room. After an uneventful homestay with a roommate in the islands, I returned to live with five other women in a house, a co-op. It was the most enormous living-situation disaster I had ever experienced, and it went on for the entirety of my final year in college. I don't think I ever properly recovered because of the guilt of my own complicity. Ever since, I assumed I was the worst roommate ever and could never live comfortably with others.

That was a LONG time ago. I think it is safe to let it go (in fact, it would be unsafe not to). I know I'm not perfect, and still have a lot to practice in communication, but my last roommate said that I was hardy! Imagine that! I love the idea that I could be a hardy co-habitator. This morning, I finished The God of Small Things and a bowl of cherries. I'm hoping by the end of the day I can say the same of a woven accordion book or a rough draft, since tomorrow I'll be in the wood shop in the afternoon and then entertaining a house guest until Monday night. Hardy!

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