Sometimes the big questions come — and come barreling — in the course of a small, ordinary day. I’ve completely forgotten that they do that.
Today my dad called in the morning and asked if he could use my bathroom. I live right smack in the center of things (or so I like to think), so I inevitably get all kinds of drop-ins. It was around 10 am and I had just woken up, but it parent world that means it’s precious hours upon hours after the sun had come up and I’ve just slept off half the day.
I let my dad in, he went straight to the bathroom, I did my little morning routine — rub eyes awake, drink a glass of tepid water, then a bottle of fresh vegetable and fruit juice, read my daily spiritual reading, then sat down to work on my computer.
My dad came out of the bathroom and sat on the couch, wondering what to do next. He had done his errands. With my lifestyle journalist hat on (one of the many I wear), I sat typing, rummaging through yet another press release and wondering why get such strange assignments. Just another day at the office in the freelance world.
Then, finally bored, my dad declares he’s going off. My little apartment didn’t have enough to entertain him, apart from the balcony he says should be boarded up by strong glass windows, in case somebody gets some ideas about jumping out. I tell him I would take the lift down with him so I can get my morning coffee.
In the elevator lobby, he sighs and wonders, genuinely baffled: “Do you like living like this, Tar? Alone?”
I said, “Yes, sure, it’s fun!” as we both stepped into the elevator. I remember babbling something about being able to call people if I needed company, and being free to head out as and when I please, and that more importantly, if I wanted to be alone to write, I could.
He nodded and seemed to be OK with my answer. We got to the ground floor and parted ways at the lobby — him to the parking, me to the nearby 7-11. But as I went to pour myself a medium cup of coffee on the self-serve counter, as I paid for it and headed back upstairs and back to work, as I sat for hours and finished only two paragraphs, as I showered for a 4 pm appointment, as I drove with a friend to Greenhills for that appointment, as I brainstormed for two hours about a new project (which will require another hat), as I rode home and settled back in to continue working, as I procrastinated for hours while whining about procrastination on Facebook and Twitter, I thought about the seeming innocuous question.
Do I like living like this? Do I? No judgment, dear: Do I?