How it is Now, Living Alone

By Sariah Daine

Yes, there is a freedom that comes with living alone. I can come and go as I please, eat when and what I desire, sleep when I want, whether the dishes are done or not, use the bathroom whenever I feel the urge, regulate the temperature and adjust the blinds to shut out or welcome in the light of the sun as my mood flows.

No one asks me to turn off public radio to play violent video games on the TV. The mail is always addressed to me, whether by name or by virtue of being ‘current occupant’. I choose where I live, what artwork to place where and when to open my door to other people, invite them in and share my ‘Sariah’ feathered nest.

And then they’re gone.

If it’s late at night when my guests leave, I might not swish the wine from the bottom of the glasses, but leave them for tomorrow.

When I’ve brushed my teeth, washed my face, and taken my medications (to encourage my body to forget it’s headed quickly to 70), I look ay my big, comfy, queen size bed and begin ‘the arrangement.’ The taupe colored spread and deep red shammed pillows are removed, the fleece sheet pulled back; then the seven pillows and 2 towels are ‘arranged’ ……… all for the sake of my dislocated shoulder blade and back, with its many bulging discs!

I sleep ‘snowflake style’, per my physical therapist’s suggestion. This sleeping ‘snowflake’ takes up my entire bed! I am a spread-eagle, arch-backed, supported-limbed and -necked ‘snowflake’ as I melt into sleep.

I sort of chuckle as I write this, understanding more, with every added pillow, why loving couples sometimes opt for separate beds. Good Grief!!!

So, yes, I live alone and sleep alone and can do what I want, when and how I want.



There is no one to care one way or another.
there is no one to care… one way or another………

No one to ask how my day went or complain about theirs; no one to suggest we try a new recipe or cafe; no one’s hand to hold when one or the other of us is sad or scared. No one to care if the open blinds let in too much sun, that might fade the leather and wool.

When I was 33, sharing a home with my husband, my daughter, his son and a big floppy dog, I looked out the living room window, anticipating my husband’s return from work. My parents had arrived a bit before, going to share an evening meal. I turned to my mom and said, “I get excited, like butterflies inside, when Dan comes home.” Mom said, “I get butterflies too, when I see your dad… every time… for over 30 years!!!”

That night, I looked around the table as we ate our meal, got teary-eyed, as my heart filled….. full of wonder, at this group of ‘each-one-different’ people; so grateful for every mood and desire they brought to this shared table.

I miss it… having to always be conscious of other’s needs and pleasures… to share mine….. to feel the flutter of butterfly wings.

Now, I am some sort of chrysalis ……hanging… …waiting… …waiting to break free ….free of all this ‘freedom’ I feel.

Not much fun at all…..

(c) 2016 Sariah Daine

Sariah read this story at the First Monday, First Person salon in August. Check back next week for the story of this story’s impact!

About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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1 Response to How it is Now, Living Alone

  1. johnrhawkins says:

    I loved Sariah’s piece, especially from the vantage point of someone on the north side of 70 when our lives–hers and mine–are becoming more and more fragile. When the time comes, I hope I can string together words as well as Sariah did in expressing the emotions so deeply felt. Thank you.


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