Isolation. It's what I'm looking forward to the most at the new place. Not only will I no longer have to deal with noises coming through a common wall, but I won't even have sight lines that connect me with any other inhabited structure. In order to see me, people will have to come down a long driveway, or find a way over the fence.
After I move, I'll have more of my own life in my hands than I've ever had before. I've always lived in resonant response to the people around me. When the neighbors are having a conversation out back on their patio, I'll head for the front of the house and do some work on the computer.
There have been afternoons when I've felt like reading, but I haven't been able to concentrate because of the noise and have been forced to do something else. As a result, I listen closely to see when there's no one home next door, and that's when I'll pull out my book and start to read, even if I'd been planning to do something else at the time.
When things grow suddenly quiet next door, I immediately reach for the remote and turn the stereo down or the TV off. I've sat watching a movie and turned the volume up and down as the neighbors did the same. Since I've been here at Green Acres, I've been either avoiding watching anything late at night, or watching only with headphones on and the speakers turned off.
No longer, though. The move will give me the ability to control my own life. I know I've always had it, as a concept, but I'm not the kind of person to impose myself on others. If I can avoid a conflict by keeping a low profile, that's exactly what I'll do.
At last, and I think for the first time in my life, I won't have to do that. I've lived in dorms, apartments and duplexes. I even moved back with my parents twice, once after college and for a few months after I lost the shoe store gig. I've had different degrees of privacy at all of these places, but never have I been as isolated as I will be after I move next week.