An Overpopulated Moment
I have three cats and a four year old child. It’s a demographic that ensures that working, writing, thinking, listening, being a person is never a lonely endeavor. If there is a moment in the day when I am not being touched, I am unaware of it. From the very first time I step into the bathroom in the morning to the last moment of consciousness, someone is not just touching me, but actively asking for my attention.
Intrinsically, this is not how I have learned to function or create. The idea of children playing together is foreign both emotionally and intellectually. I’ve never seen the point. Even my memories of playing with neighborhood kids: scrambling around in nooks of wooded Seattle Parks, playing hide-and-seek, hanging out with a random girl from school are bookmarked by school years of solitude.
I had summertime friends on the Peninsula – where I lived with my grandparents – who were completely unaware of any other life than one in their childhood home: stable family, quiet town, cheerful-fucking-ness.
Often, it felt like I lived two lives: one seen. One as unseen.
I came to enjoy life unseen. I created, wrote, and made worlds of my own. While I never honed the skills of creativity, I made a refuge of it.
Now, however, if I move, someone else moves. There have been moments when the bathroom is packed with three cats, a four-year old and me – none of us getting what we want.
Since there’s no solution to this overpopulation. If I want to create, I must do so in the midst of questions, demands, desires, and some hardcore kitty-biscuit making.
Can’t they manufacture their own attention?
No. They cannot. That’s why they’re touching me. Besides, four introverts in one house would be disastrous.
As this new leg of life begins: the end of a 14-year partnership, the beginning of solo parenting while not just working but creating, the search for a new car, the hope of a brilliant and peaceful horizon… now is the time to learn how to create differently.