Saturday, May 1, 2010

Far, Far From the Madding Crowd

"Hell is other people." Jean Paul Sartre

There's something to be said for looking around your home and seeing everything that belongs to you. It is usually and certainly comforting. If you come into my house, everything that you see is exactly where I put it (or where my cat dragged it after I put it somewhere else) and for the most part you can see a lot of me in my home and I take so much pride in that. But at the same time I wish that all of this wasn't mine.

I have my favorite pieces of art all propped up on my mantle, all given to me by good friends with good taste. I have my movie collection, wimpy as it may be, shoved into a cubby hole--not accurately representing my cinematic appetite in any way but filling the spot nonetheless. All of my coats and sweaters milling around every side of the coat rack in the corner. The table cloth that I picked out at the thrift store (this selection based on price, size, and minimal stainage) and curtains that I hate (but that I receive so many compliments that I keep them because maybe I don't see what's so wonderful about them) flanking the dining room windows. Come in to my house--soak me in. Get a feel for my vibe.

Yeah. Great. But I'm so tired of looking at my stuff. I'm so tired of looking at my stuff. I'm so tired of looking at my stuff.

I want someone else's jacket swung over the chair when I walk in. Don't you know how good that feels? Don't you know how home it feels to peek around the corner and see someone else's shoes at the top of the stairs or hear the shower running? Don't you know how crazy I feel when I walk into the house and say hello--to a cat?

I'm not saying that I feel lonely. I'm just saying that I feel self-absorbed and it can only be cured by another toothbrush in the bathroom.

I just want to look at someone else's stuff.