Monday, September 27, 2010

Sounds of Solitary Silence

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I've been raging solo for a few days. Nicky flew to Argentina on Tuesday for a week-long work assignment, which left me to tend for myself for a week. I was in the final stretch of my own work assignment at the end of last week, so I really didn't get a chance to unwind until Saturday. That was the first time I've been alone at home in a very long time. Nicky had a few periods of alone time in the slums of Beverly Hills at the end of the summer when I went away for Phish, so she got some decompression time from a crazy summer of Vegas and Phish. I didn't get any alone tie until now and I'm lucky that I was able to get some because I desperately needed a bit of solitary time.

It's weird, or I should say, I'm weird. Most people are afraid to be alone, but I relish those times. I love my girlfriend and I want to live with her, but one of the things I sacrificed the most is solitary time. She's great at giving me my own space but sometimes I need time to unplug completely and shut out the world -- which has become harder and harder these days. As I said, I'm lucky that I got this week, or at least four days to just chill.

I had three things that I wanted to accomplish... sleep, writing, and reading.

Sleep results? Better than average.

Our new neighbors moved in over the weekend, and I wanted to catch up on sleep, so I had to knock myself out in order to sleep through the ruckus above me and the barking dogs across the alley. I ate the equivalent of a Xannie bar one night and that allowed me to sleep for six straight hours without waking up. I can't go an hour or two on usual nights. So straight sleep is a Godsend. I overlept on Sunday and if the Joker and Wildo didn't call me up 15 minutes before the first football game, I would have missed out on the one day that I set aside to watch TV. Yeah, Sunday was mindless zombie day and I got super faded and didn't move from my couch. I ordered pizza, watched three football games, one baseball game, episodes of: Hoarders, Empire Boardwalk, Rubicon, Freaks & Geeks, and Mad Men. I also watched the Joaquin Pheonix/Casey Affleck mockumentary I'm Still Here. I wanted to get all of that visual stimulation done in a single day, so I could use the rest of the time to rest my mind.

Writing results? Average for work and below average for personal. On Saturday, I penned two first drafts for future articles, but I lost any enthusiasm to keep writing about poker after just completing a three-week assignment. I began something about the Hall of Fame that I started a draft, then stopped and never finished up. Today, I blew off a spec article I was supposed to but felt like reading instead. I didn't write as much personal stuff. I took notes but didn't crank out as many pages as I hoped. I worked on Truckin' and edited the next two issues. I wrote a couple of new short stories, and I liked one of them and found something for the Christmas issue in December. But aside from that, I was bummed out about my output. I focused more on reading than writing.

Reading results? Excellent. I blazed through a dozen books this month. I read cruise ship essay from David Foster Wallace three fucking times and re-read his footnotes at least two other times. I finished up a collection of essays about music. I'm almost done with a book analyzing traffic jams. I breezed through hundreds of articles that I had bookmarked and finally got around to reading. I caught up with Human Head's recommended reads via Google Reader, and made efforts to migrate all of my favorites feeds from Bloglines to Google Read after learning that Bloglines is shutting down.

So, I got some alone time and would like a little more, but I miss Nicky and can't wait for her to come home, especially since her business trip was not as much fun as our trip to Argentina last year. It was a lot of work, but we had tons of fun last year, even with the bar fight.

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