Who says that moving from a crowded metropolitan hot spot to an isolated hilltop means that life is going to be that different? Life is going on pretty much as before.
Well, maybe there are minor differences. Like deciding which outdoor view I want when I’m working at home – Boulder valley, the forested peak of Arkansas Mountain (not to be confused with Mt. Arkansas, also in Colorado), the burned-out hills of Four Mile Canyon, or our courtyard garden. Or like realizing I can walk the perimeter of my house in the morning coffee cup in hand, wearing nothing, but, well, wearing nothing.
The reality of not having neighbors is taking a while to sink in. Old habits die hard, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and other such axioms. Take last Tuesday night, for example. When I’m home alone, I frequently feel compelled to have a glass of wine and turn on some really danceable music at high, but not your-neighbors-will-pound-on-the-walls-and-call-the-cops-high, volume and have a dance party of one. Since my partner was in Indiana (not Arkansas) and I had already invested dozens of solo hours slogging through our haphazardly packed belongings, I decided to take the night off. I opened up some pinot grigio (another benefit of my partner being out of town – white wine!) and fired up some Julieta Venegas on my mobile phone. No speakers – stereo equipment, paintbrushes, clean underwear, and other non-essentials fall low in the unpacking pecking order.
So there I am in the kitchen, stemless wine glass in my left hand, spatula in my right, working up some stir fry. Hips are swaying, lips are mouthing the words. Then I start to sing lightly, alternating between that and humming when my tongue starts tripping over the rapid-fire Spanish. But always barely audibly. Even though my partner isn’t home, I don’t want someone walking down the hall and hearing me through the door.
Wait, what? There is no hall. There is no one walking by. There are no shared walls. There are no neighbors. Why am I being so quiet?
And…out comes the Lily Allen. An obscenity-filled song that got me through a lot of lame dates, terrible pickup lines, awkward avoiding of unwanted goodnight kisses, and unreturned text messages years ago. Not at all a commentary on my current relationship; just an awesome song to blast and sing along to in the worst faux cockney accent I can muster. Seriously, ladies. Try it.
Damn, where are those speakers? This needs to be louder, louder, I say! I can’t possibly make this music loud enough now until we get the stereo set up. Unpacking priorities have suddenly changed. But in the meantime, at least I can dance naked, with all the blinds up.