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Monday, June 19, 2000

One thing I didn't expect about coming back was the feeling of loneliness that comes from being dropped into my isolated little desert island of a world, after a week of being around and with people I love. I should have expected it, I guess, but I must have forgotten that being on my own always takes on a starker and more severe nature after I've been spending time with people.

When my nephews were too young to stay on their own, I would sometimes move into their house for a few days to give Suzanne and John a chance to get away. I volunteered for this assignment every chance I got, but it always made my house seem so much emptier when I came home. I like living alone, I really do. But sometimes I don't.

While I was on vacation, I ate three times a day. They weren't always actual meals, but most of them were fairly substantial. At home I never eat that way. A bowl of cereal around eleven, a sandwich about two, and a simple evening meal. That's my usual fare, but I was getting that hollow feeling long before eleven today. I have to watch and be sure all the good I've done since I started dieting in January doesn't get undone by lapsing back into bad habits.

Friday night I watched game five of the NBA finals in my nephews' motel room with the whole family. Tonight I watched game six by myself, some of it while I was sitting at the computer trying to catch up on things. Not the same at all.

So far the worst thing about being back isn't what I expected. It's not my job at all, even though I can feel the pressure building in that direction. So far the worst I've had to deal with has been the noise coming from my neighbor's house. I told Mom today that I should never have jumped at the first available place that I could afford, because it has the one element that keeps me from apartment living - a common wall.

With the kids home from school and both parents working, there is no one to stop them from playing their stereo at a deafening level. The pounding on my family room wall was near the torture point most of the afternoon. That wall was vibrating, and the painting hanging on my side of it came to life.

I like all kinds of music. I've said it and I'll stand by it. You can't play me anything that I won't at least tolerate, for a while anyway. But I have a hard time with the distilled essence of noise that gets transmitted through a wall.

Even last night, they were watching TV at full volume. Since they tend toward USA cable movies with over-produced music tracks, the effect is something like living next door to a machine shop, with equipment humming at various random pitches. They stopped last night at eleven, so I didn't bother to complain, but today's rock concert was enough to dull the senses to the point of paralysis.

I guess if Saundra is going to make me her link du jour, I should probably get some entries up. The first two vacation entries, for June 10 and June 11, are now on the site. They're mostly about traveling across the desert, so beware of snakes and scorpions.

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