the muse is in the mountains.

i have to make my own coffee. it’s a hard-knock life. though the laundry seems considerably less in his absence, and all the drawers stay shut just like i left them.

still. the kids sleep eventually. i miss him until the silence comes.

here’s the thing about a partner. he’s a good one. he shovels, and he parents, and he talks with me about networks  and gender and philosophy and all the other ideas that my reading these days precipitates. he’s responsible, far more than i ever expected of him. he intrigues me, and he loves me.

but i am an only child, raised with a single parent, and the older i get the more i crave the monastic silence of aloneness. it’s not that he talks all the time. we could go nights on end with a quiet nod from one computer to the other, especially when we’re writing.

it’s that i have colonized my mind with the idea of a partner.

i make my own panopticon: i won’t eat the last of the peanuts in case he notices and judges. he wouldn’t. i put the garbage out and expect that he will notice and thank me. he mightn’t. but i cast him in the role of internal judge. and i stand as his, and irritate the living shit out of myself over stupid things.

when he’s gone, i stop.

and it is peaceful in my head, and i stretch my little brain and begin to think, hmmm…perhaps we could do this better…perhaps i could change the whole way i...

and then the cat leaps into my empty lap, deeply concerned that my shirt is not currently being kneaded and chewed. she rectifies this. pronto. whilst purring and digging her claws into the soft flesh of my middle.

i pet her, then bat her away, so i can type. she’s back in seconds, her sizeable rear parked on my keyboard. she is dogged, for a cat.

when Dave is away, i cannot finish a single thought without a large fur-covered punctuation mark inserting itself into my stream of consciousness.

my faithful Clementine. she is, in her own mind, entirely mine. with her, i shall never know loneliness. or real silence. and i suppose that is a gift.

this is not the silent time of my life, i tell myself. and then i give thanks for all that is bursting at the seams of my existence.

and i eat the peanuts. every last one.

tell me about your solitude. is it one of the trade-offs lost in partnership, in raising children? or is it a mind-set? he doesn’t care about the peanuts. should i?