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"Where do I go when I disappear there?"

I'd prefer to stay home. Given the opportunity to travel the world, I'd still prefer to stay home. I'm a notorious HomeBody, into my routine, comfortable in my surroundings as long as I'm home. Good introvert that I am, I consider myself to be my own best company. Strangers exhaust me. Even too much family tends to quickly tucker me out. I live most of my life inside my head. The rest of the world and all its supposed charms seem about 98% distraction. I kick and scream at the mere prospect of leaving my lair. The Muse has to grab me by my hair and throw me out into the world. She insists that interesting things happen when I get out in the world, and I cannot disagree. Still, I'd rather stay home.

When I consent to go out, I drive with one foot in the ditch, wary and watching for calamity.
Perhaps I qualify as paranoid though I think of myself as careful. I do not usually feel enlivened anticipating any excursion, but feel enthreatened instead. If I agree to go, I will consent to go after saying no a half dozen times. I will consent to go even though I do not really want to go anywhere but back toward my writing chair or to pick up that latest novel, while slipping into my slippers again. My theme song might be Cole Porter's Why Don't We Try Staying Home? "What if we threw a party for two, and asked only me and you?"

I live like The Muse's cell phone battery, perpetually only one-third charged and itchy when more than an arm's length away from my sacred charging cable. I can get by for an hour or so away from that which gives me juice. Any longer than that and I start loosing steam from around my gaskets. With live performances, I will be ready to leave at the first intermission, considering just showing up to have fulfilled any obligation I might have carried to get out into the world. The actual event will prove to be a distraction from the real business at hand, that of HomeBodying. I'd really rather putter than parade.

This difference, my preference, hardly amounts to a dysfunction. I think of it as a super stealthy superpower. I possess the superpower which enables me to actively not need (or want) to get out, except in those thankfully infrequent cabin fever times. Even then, a short zoot should satiate my need for exposure. Really, even the ability to escape which I usually will not exercise, seems enough of an outing for me most days. Where do I usually go when I finally do consent to vacate? The library, of course, a public place where I can inhabit my thought bubble body without needing to interact much with anyone around me. I'll be pleasant enough, but hardly present enough to seek recognition of my presence. I'll seem mostly invisible to myself, which serves as a blessed relief.

I claim to prefer bounded solitude, the sort of alone where I can hear someone poking around downstairs. The last concert I attended, I spent the eternity during the performance with my head in my lap, holding my hands over my earplug-protected ears. The people around us screamed and danced while I prayed for somebody to beam me up and out of there. That was an extreme case, even for me. The Muse and I have been known to visit small jazz venues where we could perch on a barstool or hunker around a small table and introvert in public. She's an extrovert by preference, but she knows how to share a good time. I'll consent to accompany her to the occasional concert even though she knows I'll likely disappear in place while the band performs. Where do I go when I disappear there? Back into my head where I shuffle into my slippers, slip into my reading chair, and recharge that permanently poorly charged internal battery again, because I'm a HomeBody.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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