So, the lifemate and I are “camped out” in our friend’s basement until we can move into our apartment (we moved states, and so, we could only be so picky as to move-in dates with regards to our move-out date, since, hopefully like most people, we didn’t want to waste any money). This is not about our apartment. It is, however, about the basement. Our friend (an actual mutual [very platonic] friend of ours whom we both knew and spent time with separately before ever getting together) lives in a house far too large for a single guy with a dog (the house was bought and paid for by his parents, so there’s that, too, but it’s a long, personal story of his, so judge less-harshly). And the basement is partially built out with one enormous bedroom (just a rectangle really), a closet outside the bedroom, and a full bathroom with some built-in shelving. Aside from this build out, the entirety of the remaining basement is concrete and completely unfinished. It’s a strange oasis-type feeling. It’s also a strange sort of time dilator as the room itself has no windows.
The basement has two window wells that allow for a peek at whether or not the time is day or night. As the walls of the built-out bedroom/den float freely within the basement space, only the northerly wall is built against the foundation of the house, the other three walls are completely solid, with not a single window frame, and they were built too far from the window wells to have made any use of them. And so, I am living in a windowless basement room (that’s very warm and comfortable, so don’t feel bad for me, please) within which I have little to no conception of what time it is, and I am not free to roam freely about the house whenever I want.
With these two conditions set out before me, I woke up at 6 am this morning. The friend (and I know this because we can easily and clearly hear all of his movements on the main floor) wakes around 6:45 am and is gone no later than 7:15 am, six days a week. I had at least an hour to blow, and the lifemate was still sound asleep. I didn’t want to go upstairs and encroach upon the friend’s morning routine. I also didn’t want to go back to bed. And I’ve been getting these really nasty headaches lately from my screens, which leaves me only my laptop as an option for my viewing pleasure (the tv, I assumed, would be too bright, and my phone’s the usual headache culprit when in near or complete darkness). Plopping open my laptop, I flicked it into Night mode, but I had nothing to do. I didn’t want to write; that’s lame. I didn’t want to read the news that early (or at all in that moment). A general cure to my laziness usually resides in YouTube. My tolerance for the platform is so low that I cannot really tolerate a “binge,” as it were.
Apparently, however, at 6 am on a weekday, I can watch YouTube videos for three hours. And I’m not talking about the “good” kind of videos (of the educational or documentary type); I’m talking about some straight up shit and some straight up waste-of-timers, all of the “YouTuber” genre. This is unusual behavior for me, but after getting into a good little rabbit hole groove, I was happy that I was doing it, watching videos and attempting to learn something. Obviously, the world is changing fast, and not a single YouTuber I watched today had I ever heard of before. In short, I felt really old. But honestly, I’m glad to be out of my youth.
In No Time To Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin, Le Guin states something so beautiful about age. “Old age is for anybody who gets there,” she writes on page 9, and then on the next page, she quotes, “Old Age is Not for the Young.” I suppose, if anything, I’m grateful to be growing older. Not knowing about whatever is going on on The Tube never bothered me before, and after this morning’s junk-food binge, I’m highly confident that it will never matter to me at all.