Distance from people

If you imagine yourself to be a people-person, spending time alone may not be something to look forward to. 

For me it has always been a dream to spend more time alone.  

 

My family knows where I am. I know where I am, but it is not easy for me to contact them or for me to see them. They would have to come get me in a car or a boat. 

 

They do not know how I spend my days, and I guess in some ways, that really doesn’t matter. They will only ever know what I tell them is true about the time I went to live by myself in a cabin by the sea. Isn’t that how most stories begin anyway? And why shouldn’t you believe it?

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I am safely inside; I catch my breath. Breathe out. I can see my breath clearly – it was cold outside! I shrug my shoulders. Brr. I place two logs of wood in the fireplace and gather up some old newspapers in a ball to get the fire going. The fireplace is so small that it can only fit two logs of wood. I light a match, the fire dies. I try one more time. I feel warmer. 

 

Loneliness does not exist in this mess of tasks and tiredness in the morning. Whatever emotion I woke up with is long gone now. Every morning seems like an eternity of trial and error.

 

On one of my walks, I find a library in a shed. The idea of the library is this: leave one and take one, or simply just take one. I take about four books with the intention of returning them. The library is in the same place as all the tourist cabins are. Lots of rich people with fancy cars drive by me.

 

I try to imagine whom I had borrowed the books from. Maybe it was the man who drove past me in the parking lot. He tried to say hi, was he signalizing ownership? 

It thrills me that someone I don’t know meant for me to read this.  

I have in front of me a copy of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Norwegian Literature History. I think these two books were owned by an old man. 

Maybe he was a professor.

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I run home, who cares if I run, I run as fast as I can. And in the same tempo I light the candles in the cabin. It’s dark now, so I have to squint my eyes to try to see the words that are written. What secrets do they hide? 

My mind wanders, and I smile just like I would smile if I was invited to a party, or just met someone new. Because suddenly, I feel seen, and not so distant from anybody.  

Candles lit, far away from everyone I know.  

Out by the sea.  

 

When my joy dies down, I want so desperately to tell someone about my connection with the possible professor. I am overwhelmed with a feeling of I-have-to-share-this-with-someone-right-now!

The more weeks I spend alone the stronger the feeling gets. 

 

In this state I feel distant from real life. I find myself in a new place without anyone to communicate with and no expectations. It's like a dreamworld. 

 

I have a mirror in the cabin. I look at myself for what I think is an abnormal amount of time each day. It's like I am searching for something. And I think I have figured out what. I am trying to get a reaction from myself. I look at my face. I stare back, and I see myself as not me, but someone to communicate with.  

 

How I wished that the people who played that loud music that one time invited me to their party. I want something new to happen.

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I ponder on whether I should start talking to strangers.

Still. Everyone I meet seems so unapproachable. In their own world.  

As I am, in mine.  

 

I meet a man with one black and one white dog. I try to befriend horses by the road. I retrace old paths in the woods.  

 

It’s bizarre to think that I could be doing anything at all in these woods and no one would ever know.  

 

I don’t do anything crazy. I have a great time. 

 

I take the same route every day.  

I eat as many blueberries as I can.  

I imagine that if I meet someone, that I will talk to them. 

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