One of the primary differences between
being a recluse at home versus a recluse in someone else’s home is that (hold
your breath) you have to cease being a recluse.
Currently, my partner E and I are living as part of a six-person family: two parents, two children, aged eight and four apiece, and two dogs. Under these circumstances, I keep my anti-sociality tucked out of sight, until I’m out walking on my own, alone under the wide, blue sky (stay tuned. More about this in a moment).
Our friends (yes, we have not yet taken to living with complete strangers) manage their own organic farm in Vermont, a small, green, mountainous state in the northeastern corner of the US. We have been here a little over a week, and plan to remain for maybe a couple of months. Aside from the dogs, there are also goats (five), one cow and one ox. There used to be chickens, but last month a mink (one of the few to escape becoming a fashion-accessory) slaughtered all nine of them.
Previously, a fox caught and killed the rooster called Big Daddy who used to be the paterfamilias.And what with avian flu waiting to swoop in... yep, it’s been a foul fowl year.
During the day, I try to be industrious. Our friends maintain an office space and I’ve been walking over to use it. The three-mile hike from the house takes me an hour and I arrive here feeling like I’ve scaled Everest! Sure, it’s all downhill and I don’t need sherpas to carry my hand-embroidered backpack for me or bottled oxygen to breathe. But the sense of purpose?
Now if only I could find away to end this column... ahh. There we go. All done.
This article originally appeared in Outlook Delhi City Limits, May 15 2006.