As I sit here in my hotel room alone the morning after moving out of the house in order to try and keep healthy, I’m taken by both how loud it is outside of this room, while also how quiet it is without my kids screaming through the house as they get ready for school. Walking from the hotel lobby with only one coffee in my hands, as opposed to the two I normally grab when traveling with my family hit me hard.
There have been a couple of times during the past twelve hours that I’ve almost felt as though this is some sort of vacation. Sitting and surfing through channels on the television brought me back to every trip I’ve ever been on as we search for something to watch among all the crap in order to get the kids to chill out long enough to go to sleep. But, it all feels off. And knowing that I’m going to sit here in this room alone for another couple of days doesn’t help anything.
Add onto that the still-existing guilt that I’ve left my family alone to fight this plague and, well, the emotions are running high today already, and it’s not even 8am.
There’s another segment of this that feels almost Hunter Thompson-esque. No, I’m not talking about the extreme drug and alcohol usage. Heck, two fingers of Jameson hardly counts as anything close to what Thompson got up to during his heyday. But this feeling of being alone in a hotel room to work makes me think I should be writing some dark and dreary story about lonely men trying to find their way in this world.
Instead, I’m going to spend the majority of my time working my actual job and getting school work done. The school work one is definitely a good one to have extra time for, but not nearly as exciting as writing some noir fiction. Although, I suppose I’ve got a good idea for a bit of flash fiction to work on over the next few days.
The sounds of the city outside my door at least help to make me feel a little less in exile, knowing that a world does still exist out there. But…I don’t know, it’s all so weird. For the first time in two years of a global pandemic, I’m actually feeling as though there’s something not right with the world, that things have inexplicably changed.
But the only thing that’s really changed is that I don’t have the constant yelling of three kids filling my ears.
This might be the first time I’ve realized how terrible I’m going to be as an empty nester.