I burnt my knee whilst painting about an hour ago, and I screamed really loudly. I screamed really loudly and no one brought me water or ice or asked what had happened because I live alone. There are very few occasions when I am not okay with living alone, and these are: when something breaks, when I haven’t seen another person for more than 36 hours. Luckily the latter hasn’t happened yet, so my toilet breaking a few months ago was the only time I have deeply disliked the solo lifestyle. Until now, when I just wanted to be looked after for 30-60 seconds.
I live alone, I don’t have a partner, my immediate neighbours are in full time jobs, my best friend lives three hours away, and my family two hours away. When something happens, there is no one who would or could come running to help me immediately. An hour later, I am typing this with an unwanted pot of Ben & Jerry’s balanced on my knee, the burn now white and purple with a huge red ring around it. It wasn’t even the first burn I got on that leg today, and I’ve burnt my index finger so much the skin is peeling off. This is pretty normal and to an extent I do expect it – especially on my fingers. But burning my knee caught me by surprise and the repercussions of it shocked me even more.
Living alone is wonderful. I have no arguments about money, what to watch on TV, who made what mess. I am the only person I have to meet the standards of, and I am the only person I am letting down if I don’t meet them – an equally huge and tiny thing. Most special, though, is that when I get home at night, I have silence. There are moments it can get lonely, but right now I would choose that over the tension of coexisting with someone.
BTW, I do have lots of wonderful friends in Manchester who could and would be there if the circumstances were different, but no one I would ask or expect to leave work to help me (although I’m 75% certain my best friend would if he were closer, even if I didn’t ask).