A friend of mine, whom I shall call Love to protect her privacy, once spent a weekend at my place. We had a lovely dinner together, and we both retired early. I went into my office and spent most of the night working on my novel, and she retired to the guest room to sleep.
At around 2am in the morning, when I went downstairs to make what perhaps was my fiftieth cup of coffee that night, I was surprised to find her in the living room, sitting on the sofa opposite my cat Bambi, just staring into space thoughtfully.
I asked if everything was okay to which she replied that she was finding it difficult to sleep and was feeling a bit scared.
“I understand.” I replied. “You’re not the first person to hear those sounds. Don’t worry; it’s from the old attic. I still haven’t emptied out the stuff the previous owner left there plus I need to fix some lose structures there and in some other parts of the house. I promise you the rumors aren’t true, there are no ghosts in my house.”
I thought Love was having a hard time sleeping because of strange noises that friends of mine who have slept over at my place claim to hear at night. Not too long ago, another dear friend of mine whose name I shall omit to protect her privacy (or perhaps I should call her Malia because I Google Malia Obama almost every day) who slept over at my place some months ago claimed she heard weird noises at night, and jokingly wrote on her social media page that my house is haunted. Then there’s my not so nice ex colleague whom I shall call Miss Judas because she reminds me of Judas the disciple who betrayed Jesus in the Bible, who was in town for a seminar and asked to stay at my place for two nights so as to save on hotel costs and on the day she left, on her way to the airport, she posted on her social media page that she had had an awful time because my house is haunted and added that there are ghosts living in my house. She didn’t even thank me for my kind hospitality that saved her a couple of hundreds on hotel and food.
The truth is that during the first few weeks after I moved in, I also heard strange noises, especially at night and on extremely quiet days, but the contractors I called in to help solve the problem explained that the noises were coming from the old attic as well as other parts of the house including the ancient cellar because the house is very old. They also explained that those kinds of noises are common to houses such as mine that were built a long time ago. The only way to fix the problem, the contractors said, was to break down or remove and redo some of the old and loose structures – and while I was initially willing to give them the go-ahead to do the required work, the budget they presented made me realize I couldn’t afford to make those changes just yet. Fortunately for me, within a few weeks, I think my mind tuned out the noises because I just stopped hearing them. My guests however, have not been so fortunate.
“I’m not worried about ghosts or any of the weird stuff people write about your house.” Love replied. “I don’t even believe in that kind of supernatural stuff!”
“If it’s not the noises then what’s keeping you awake?” I asked. “And why are you scared?”
“I’m about to hit my forties.” she said.
I laughed. “I’m also about to hit my forties. What’s so scary about that Love?”
“Do you feel fulfilled?” she asked.
I sighed thoughtfully but said nothing.
“See, that’s what’s keeping me awake. “She said.
“But I love what I do.” I said defensively
“Honey, you’re about to hit your forties, you live in isolation, you’re not married or dating anyone, you don’t have kids, you have Bambi to keep you company but you spend ninety percent of your time indoors alone, rarely get any visitors except the few friends who sleep over at your place every now and then which is not often and you don’t even have a TV to distract you. Doesn’t your sedentary lifestyle worry you?”…
I thought a lot about what Love said for days, and weeks, after that. She was right! I spend a lot of time alone, mostly writing. I rarely go out with friends and if I do, it’s usually with one friend at a time and to a particular restaurant for a meal that lasts at most one hour. Occasionally, I treat myself to a movie. I’m protective of my living environment and with the exception of the few friends that visit every now and then; I spend most of my time alone. A friend of mine once told me that if she had my sedentary lifestyle, she’d go crazy! My reply was “If I had your active lifestyle I’d go crazy!”
The truth is I really enjoy spending time alone. I feel energized, inspired and motivated when I’m on my own, especially when I’m reading or writing, to the point where I often lose track of time. I don’t particularly enjoy hanging around loud and noisy people, even though I don’t mind when my friends come over (no loud music please, yes yes yes to scrabble). I dislike discos and other loud environments in general.
A friend of mine once tried to convince me to throw a mega birthday party for myself in my “haunted” house, and even offered to help with all the preparation but I refused! She pointed out that throwing and attending parties are excellent ways to network and meet the right people. “You might just bump into the right person.” she said.
While I admit that she has a good point, I simply don’t like parties and when I’m invited to parties I rarely go. Being around a lot of people often makes me feel drained and suffocated. Besides, I’m painfully shy! I don’t know why but I suspect GOD created me this way for a particular reason.
I don’t even get offended when my friends poke fun at my extremely laidback lifestyle because they’re usually just pointing out the truth. There’s no one I’d rather spend time with than myself. In fact, during the festive season, I often spend Christmas holed up in my office or in bed writing away and New Year doing the same even though I enjoy sitting on my veranda shortly before midnight to watch the beautiful fireworks! And while I am aware that this is uncommon, and perhaps weird, for young single adults in my age group, I’m also comfortable that words such as common, normal, same and standardized have been deleted from my personal dictionary.
Just the other day I was in a train heading to a place that was about twenty or perhaps more stations away and I figured it would be a good time to write. I took out my laptop and began to type away for what I thought was just a couple of minutes but when I looked out the window, I gasped! I’d long passed the station I was supposed to stop at and was a further five stations away! I looked at my watch and realized that more than an hour had gone by! I’d gotten so lost in the short story I was writing that what I thought were five minutes was actually more the sixty minutes.
Weird or different? Does it matter?
Have a blessed Christmas and I wish you all a very prosperous, productive, profitable and hugely successful New Year!
Copyright©matildembulo. All rights reserved