Alone

I spent the weekend at the shore, our family home on the bay. My great-grandfather built it in the 30s as a summer home, and my grandparents and mom and uncles lived there while they were building the home Grandmom lives in now, the home I’ve always known as my grandparents’ house.

The Boy stayed there with me. This is strange and new on several levels-it was his first time meeting many of my local family members (he’s met more of my dad’s side than my mom’s), and I was allowed to be alone at the shore with a boy overnight, and to share my bed with him with implicit permission. My parents and grandparents are Catholic (of varying degrees, but that upbringing is always there) and disapproving of premarital sex. In my mid-twenties, 2 male friends were planning on visiting me and we were planning on spending part of the visit at the shore, but I was told we couldn’t because I would be alone with boys. I had no intention of sleeping with them, but that didn’t matter.

We drove separately, because he sleeps later than I do and also had to work on Monday. My friend Fly By Night, a SF1 skater, was taking care of my cats while we were gone. I spent the time alone at the house attempting my first water color painting (not counting the childhood ones with the hard ovals of paint). I found it difficult to be alone there, without distraction. I wandered the grounds, bringing my cell phone as if I was bringing my friends with me, as though I were not alone if I could talk to them, even via facebook and twitter.

That afternoon and evening we built a fire outside the garage at grandmom’s and ate pizza and chips and salsa and cheese and crackers with cousins and uncles and aunts and friends. The Boy is not good with big groups normally, and groups full of strangers who are Very Important are worse, so we would wander away and generally be a solitary unit in the crowd. I invited a friend over, who is more outgoing and also Polish (my grandmother is Polish) and the family took to him well, reducing the pressure on The Boy.

The next day the crowd had diminished to 3 or 4 plus us, and we spent most of the day watching Dexter at the shore in the blue room. As it got later and The Boy would have to leave, I started feeling like I would not be able to stay there without him, though if he had gone home I would have. He arranged for his roommate to feed the cat and stayed with me, without me ever having to say that I needed him to stay.

I had a migraine on Monday and stayed in bed until 4pm. Then I cleaned up the house and stopped by grandmom’s, and everyone was gone except me. My uncle lives a couple hundred feet away, so is sort of always around, but last night was my grandmother’s first night totally alone in her own home. I stayed and had dinner with her, let her fuss over me not eating enough, and did the dishes, and moved some plants, but I had to come home to my cats and leave her. I cried for a lot of the drive home, finally alone enough to do so, and I worried about her.

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