I’ve held out as long as I can.
It’s been a week.
Here I go. Stay with me.
My partner, who I refer to as Hildegard, because she is an introvert and considers her life to be a private matter, has been living alone in a house we are trying to sell.
I, on the other side of the dichotomy, am an extrovert who considers that most of his life belongs to whoever will listen, have been living in the other house, the one we are attempting to move into. This house is set up high on a hill in Albany, a delightful town on the southern tip of Western Australia.
This house, the one I’m in right now, the one in the hills outside Perth (we always seem to live on a hill), is surrounded by trees.
When I arrived late last week, it was dark and I could not see the broad brush of the outer world, just the few branches caught in the house lights. When I awoke, the next morning, I did as I always do and pulled back the blinds from the bedroom windows.
“Wow, look at that? How long has that been down?”
“You can’t see?”
“The huge gap in the sky?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The tree, the big wattle, it’s not there, the sky is open, it’s all blue, didn’t you notice?”
“Oh, I never look out there when you’re not home?”
“Hey? But you pull the blinds?”
“No. I leave them closed all day.”
Well, you could have pushed me down and around the block with a toothpick.
Sure, she is an introvert, we have known that for years and, yes, I am extroverted, but to have no need to view the outer world, to be content with the inside of a room and not even to let in daylight, this astounded me. I was shocked. I moved quickly through the house and pulled every blind, opened every door, looked out every window. It seemed to make no difference to Hildegard, had no impact, no offence was caused, so it was not that the outer world intimidated her, it was just that without me, she had no need of it.
And, inside, where I sometimes go, I secretly wished I could do the same, not every day, but sometimes, like, for example, when working on the next novel.