How Can I Live with Myself? Well, Let’s See

The Story So Far

I moved into a new house in March and for the first time in my life, I am the only human living with myself. I find, almost five months in, that I’m generally OK to live with, albeit a little moody and quiet sometimes. I usually keep the same hours I like to keep, which is helpful.

I’m good, for the most part, at taking out the recycling. I’d give myself a solid B+ on that. I’d like it if I were a little more on top of the dishes, but even with that, it’s been better than I thought it would be when I agreed to move in with me. I’m also on top of the vacuuming and laundry, which is really nice to come home to, so props* to me for that.

My taste in music aligns really closely with my own, thank gosh, and better still, I inevitably play it exactly when I’m in the mood for it.

I find I’m more polite than I’d assumed I was. So much so, I’ve apologized on several occasions to inanimate objects, like when I said “Oh, I’m sorry” to the fridge (its full name is refrigerator, but I like to think we have that kind of relationship) when I closed the door too hard. Or when I freely admitted, “My bad!” aloud to my washing machine for not pressing the “start” button.

Both of these events, and several more like them, actually happened.

This Isn’t a Bad Thing, Per Se. It’s Not a Thing at All, Really.

I also realize that most of my new neighbors would likely describe me the way neighbors of serial killers inevitably describe them: “Nice guy, friendly, generally kept to himself.” I try not to worry about that too much, because I think overall I share very few other traits normally associated with serial killers. Almost none, virtually. I’ll just say this: I don’t for one second think I’m likely living with a serial killer and I’m in a good position to know.

OK, now we’re all starting to think maybe I’m sounding a little defensive about not being a serial killer. Like I seem a little too eager to assert that I’m not. Although, I want to reiterate, one last time, I’m 99.9% convinced I’m not. And even that .01% is because, let’s be honest, you can never know, I mean like, KNOW know 100%. Very few people, if you notice, who work with or lived around serial killers, tell reporters, “Oh yeah. Totally saw that. We all did.”

Let’s Move On

I’ve learned I apparently enjoy growing flowers more than I’d thought I would. I wouldn’t have pegged me as that kind of guy. But hey, you never really know someone until you live with them.

Things to Work On

It’s not perfect, mind you. I am constantly unable to find where I’ve put the tv remote, and when I ask where I might have left it, inevitably I can’t seem to remember. Moreover, I sound a little annoyed at the question. That’s a bit grating.

Also, I have too many plates and drinking glasses. Like, to the point where it’s inconvenient to store them all. Yet, despite telling myself I need to get rid of some and even agreeing many aren’t even nice, I never seem to get around to it. I’m always conveniently tied up with something else. That’s going to eventually become a thing if I don’t shape up.

Ditto my rude habit of eating the last of something I’ve been saving for later. I do that a lot, and I don’t get why I don’t get how disrespectful that is.

I’ve recently developed a disconcerting habit of thinking I need to assert I’m not a serial killer. That’s weird, right? I mean, it’s not just me? Well, it IS just me, that’s the point of this post, but I mean, why would I even feel like I’d need to establish that? Its a bit disquieting.

I’ve also learned that any kitchen is an eat-in kitchen if you’re willing to stand, although that’s more a general observation than being about me. And although it’s not an especially funny observation, I chuckled politely when I made it, because it’s little gestures like that which help grease the gears of domestic life.

Overall Conclusion Five Months In:

I’ve also found myself quite lonely at times, and living alone really drives home the basic existential dilemma of being with oneself from cradle to grave. But I’ve also found that loneliness is sometimes a good teacher, and that I sometimes, although not as often I aspire to be, am decent student. Still, I haven’t given up on the idea I can improve on that.

Now, if I could just get me to do something about organizing my basement. Just for normal stuff, of course. Nothing nefarious.

* there is an age past which the use of the word “props” becomes, at best, a little off putting. I’m not sure what age that is, but I think I’ve just shown that, whatever age that is, I have passed it.


18 thoughts on “How Can I Live with Myself? Well, Let’s See

  1. I think in learning to be OK with oneself, Need to be living in for the sake of being independent, are the most important skills for a person to master.

  2. Oh my goodness, I’m laughing yet again. How you do that thing that is funny and opens a well of depth at the same time is masterful.

    Living with ourselves – seems like the ultimate job in life. From your report, and it sounds pretty accurate, I’d say you are nailing it, lessons and all.

  3. My family has headed to Singapore without me. I have to see out the remaining 2 months of my contract before I can join them there. I too find myself living alone for the first time in a long while, although I’ve spent something like 200 days in quarantine over the past 2 and half years so I’m used to it. I think some alone time is a good thing, but as I’ve learnt, like anything, too much is most definitely not. I commend your efforts with the choirs Jack. Great post

  4. Thank you, Jack, for sharing this post with us. You raised a lot of good points about the experience of living alone!

  5. Like Bruce Springsteen sings, “when you’re alone you’re alone . . . when you’re alone you ain’t nothin’ but alone.” Funny bit about the serial killer. I know what you mean. I still enjoy doing Hannibal Lectur impersonations for fun (mostly by myself these days) and have been recently enjoying watching a special on John Wayne Gacy, much to my lovely wife’s disgust. It certainly reinforced my alone time. Thank you for this writing Jack.

  6. The most entertaining post I’ve read in a while. I love introspection and I really like your writing. It’s always funniest when we laugh at ourselves. The bit about the serial killer is hilarious. Thank you for this post

Leave a Reply