On My Fabled Hermitage

On My Fabled Hermitage

I know I always talk about how hermitty I am. How crowds and strangers bug me. How I wish I lived in the country with no neighbors or in the city with anonymity to protect me from all the skin-crawling social interactions that take place in driveways and yards.

But it’s all a bullshit dream, I think. I don’t think escaping into some Ted Kazcynski hole is the answer for me.

I mean, I teach classes. To people. In person. And I really like it.

Also, I’m inexplicably comfortable when it comes to public speaking.

Plus, how the hell do I ever make note of all these juicy tidbits involved in all the clutter that is Human Nature if I’m not around people?

So I’m here to stay, I guess. On this block, where I know most of my neighbors, who are all good, friendly, nice people that I’ll run into at the grocery or the YMCA or Walgreens. Where I can have a backyard potluck with my friends Amber and Travis with all my leftovers and garden vegetables. Where my sister lives three doors down, a perma-babysitter, for my kid and my dog, both, and with whom we share a lawnmower and snowblower.

Being alone only feels good when it’s a choice. Next time I get all misanthropic, remind me of this.


  • Carrie on Jan 18, 2012 Reply

    The shared mower isn’t as idealistic as it sounds. Our first lawn mower was a fairway trimmer we inherited from a friend who worked at a golf course, and our yards have never been big enough to warrant anything bigger, but the damn thing crapped out a while back.

    I have no idea why I like teaching. It’s just a very complex problem, gathering and sustaining people’s attention, and one I like solving. But not every day. I recently entered a high school and was gobsmacked by how much racket and insanity was coursing through the hallways. How did I ever stand that? I suppose I didn’t venture out of my classroom unless I had to pee, but still. Teenagers are loud and huge and unpredictable…

  • Ela on Jan 14, 2012 Reply

    That’s such great perspective. I love the sound of your neighborhood, shared equipment and all. That used to be my fantasy, that neighbors could organize so that not everyone had to have one of the large noisy space-taking used once a month toys…

    Interesting that you enjoy the “in front of people” time. I’ve just had a fairly good week working like crazy but mostly on course design and editing work–even teaching through the web, with little facetime, I’m quite apprehensive of how it’s going to go once I have to deal with people…

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