Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Bachelorette of Novato

My man is back home after five long weeks. He frequently travels far, far away for business - one week here, three weeks there - but this trip was decidedly longer than usual. When we first started seeing each other, and for quite a while after that, these trips were awful trials for me. I'd mope about, counting down the days until he returned and generally feeling blue.

I'm happy to report that I did not do any such thing this last time. Instead, I took full advantage of my long stretch of Alone Time. It would be quite accurate to say that I luxuriated in it. Every day, I asked myself: What do I most want to do today? I had no one else to consult; no one else's feelings to take into consideration. It was my time, and mine alone.

Of course I still had obligations. It wasn't like I had five weeks of vacation. I had my Monday all-day gig, my Thursday very-early-morning obligation, and various & sundry deadlines to meet. But there were hours, and pieces of hours, and evenings, and Sundays, when I could do anything I wanted to. And I did not mope, except for that one time, which hardly counts.

I'd like to tell you that I drove to the city every night and danced my bootie off, or that I shopped until I dropped, but my preferred indulgences are of a rather different nature. To wit:

I haunted my favorite bookstores and came home more than once with my arms full and my heart dancing with excitement over what I would find beneath their covers. I piled books on my bedside table and read until the wee hours of the morning, and picked up where I left off when I woke up, and it was absolutely delightfully selfishly fantabulous.

I made an enormous roast chicken every Wednesday. The first night, I ate it straight out of the roasting pan, while standing up at the counter. The meat was hot and juicy, the skin crackly. Sigh. It's not that I can't do that when B is home, it's just that... well... On the subsequent nights, I used the leftover meat to make chicken salad with butter lettuce & mustardy-tart vinaigrette; Thai salad with cabbage & peanuts & carrots and a lime-chili dressing; corn tortillas stuffed with shredded thigh meat and melted Cheddar.

I spent hours in the gym - because I could, and because I didn't need to go home - taking all the odd classes that had always looked intriguing on the schedule but that I never seemed to have time to try. Hip-hop, anyone? Or Capoeira, perhaps?

I wrote - wrote and wrote and wrote! - because I had nothing at all to distract me. Obviously, I was not blogging - the short form is not my specialty - but I got lots of ink on paper.

And in between stuffing my face with chicken, and gym-class-hopping, and writing, I left my clothes on the floor and took my sweet time picking them up. I left my dishes in the sink instead of immediately scrubbing them off. I took long baths. I played Liz Phair and Marcy Playground and REM very very, loud. I watched, or attempted to watch, all of the Academy-Award-nominated films. I learned the words to "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." I ate lots of chocolate.

But lest you become worried: I did not drink wine straight from the bottle. Not this time.

And now he is back, and I am glad.