First off, let me apologize for all these impromptu hiatuses (hiati? Hold on, now I need to look this up . . .) Interesting: Apparently the plural form of “hiatus” is either “hiatuses” or “hiatus” – just like the singular word. I guess it’s like one of those trick words teachers used when you were first learning about plural words in grade school, when they would write a bunch of words on the board and ask the class if they were singular or plural and it would start out easy like “dog” and “trains” and then get a little harder like “cacti,” but you were holding out to answer the hardest of the hard because you were a nerd, so when the teacher wrote “flock of seagulls” on the board and everyone thought it was plural you were like, “no, they’re a band – a singular band” and everyone (including the teacher) laughed at how queer you were.
Putting all that aside (into a remote nook of my subconscious where I can pretend it doesn’t bother me until I hear “I Ran” and burst into tears and have to tell people that it’s just because the song is so powerful), I have to explain why hiatuses are inevitable. Sometimes a person just needs to relax, and I don’t know about you, but I find nothing more relaxing that giving up on the world: looking around and seeing nothing but inevitable death and purposelessness. Then you come home and watch a “Top Chef” marathon and decide that the most important thing you can do right now is make a hamburger and season it perfectly. It’s invigorating in a way, because responsibility is a man-made convention, just like destiny and the recommended dose of toilet paper sheets. (Four? Why don’t I just wipe my ass with the broadside of my hand.) And getting back to basics (survival, beer, TV, etc.) can really put some perspective on things.
Which is why I didn’t blog last week.
Which is kind of a shame, because it was an interesting week. Brooke had an old friend in town, so the two of them decided to shack up at a hotel and do girly things (INSERT GIRL ON GIRL ACTION JOKE) leaving me and Puppy at the apartment to fend for ourselves.
Now if there is one thing that working from home has taught me, it’s that I could make a full-time job out of taking care of myself. You don’t realize how much structure a job adds to your life. You like to think that you’re all grown up now and you choose to wake up in the morning and choose what you wear and choose not to drink screwdrivers with breakfast, but in fact it’s the delicate hand of your career guiding your every action. So when you have to make up those imaginary boundaries yourself to keep your life on track (e.g. showering) it can sometimes feel like an added responsibility more than a really simple thing that even dimwits understand. And we all know how I feel about responsibility.
When we first started this working from home experiment (right around the time I cooked a hamburger at 11:00 a.m.) Brooke took on the role of de facto “boss.” She coerced me to wake up, shower, shut off SportsCenter, and get to work. In return, I silently resented her – like a real boss – and the natural order was restored.
So when it came time for her to leave, she was apprehensive. Although I convinced her that I could fend for myself in a fully autonomous situation, while I was saying “Yes, I’ll remember to give Puppy his medication,” in the back of my mind I was really thinking “Could I barbecue inside if I turn on the fan?”
Needless to say, the reasons I didn’t blog were many (TiVo) and profound (the beach), and while I’ll stop short of apologizing, I will say this: Brooke is back in the roost and I’m easing myself back into blogging. Not so much like you might ease into a warm bath, but more like you ease into the ocean on a hot day. You know, when you first put your feet in the surprisingly cold water and think, “OK, that’s enough.” But then everyone will call you a pussy if you don’t go all the way in, so you keep on walking, and it’s alright as long as the water is only on your legs, and as you walk you involuntarily jump up a little every time a wave comes in, but then finally you can’t avoid it anymore and the water touches your genitals and it’s not so much like you’re in pain or discomfort, it’s more like “WHY?” Which is to say there will be hiccups, times when my blog touches my genitals and I think “WHY?”, but for now this is enough:
While Brooke was away, I, of course, passed a lot of gas, mostly in the morning when I first woke up. This is the thing I miss the most about living alone.
The first morning I awoke alone, I half-consciously slid back into bachelor mode and ripped a resounding fart. It was loud. So loud, that it woke up Puppy, and a second later his front two paws were up on the edge of the bed as he looked at me wide-eyed like, “WAS THAT THUNDER?” It became our routine, a morning wake-up call of sorts, and by the end of the fifth day when the fart boomed out, Puppy moved with no urgency whatsoever and slowly and deliberately jumped up on the bed and looked at me sullenly like, “We’re still doing that?”
Yesterday was Brooke’s first day back under our roof, and it was exciting for all of us – right up until we this morning. We arose in silence, Puppy and I, and as I walked to the bathroom to coax out my gas in the quietest way possible, I locked eyes with Puppy. In that awkwardly long gaze, we shared a silent lamentation for the transient nature of freedom and the constraints of responsibility.
And with that he followed me into the bathroom.