#SATurday: Scrabble without Friends
Writing has both benefited me and disrupted me. It has allowed me to live in the moment – to pay attention to every detail, to feel every breath, to notarize every scene – and it is because of this phenomenon* that I often stretch living in the moment by crumbling it into observing the moment. Like a journalist standing at a scene of a crime, I am note-taking while waiting for the opportune time to shine, but it often never comes.
I still wonder if it will.
Perhaps my lack of connection is a purposely-practiced motion – something I prefer. I believe psychologists claim, “Introvert!” when hearing such a thing, but I’m not one for labels. I find life much too complicated in density to sustain a label, even the complex ones, even the simple ones.
As I write this, I – ironically (and undeniably inaccurately) – have labeled this room my office. Perhaps it was designed to be an office. There’s a desk, a computer, a round meeting table, not one but two bookcases, and a plush couch that seems to have never been sat on. I’m not even sure if this place has been dusted. The lights are dim so it’s impossible to say, but since it’s supposedly an area for the community, I’m assuming it has been taken care of. I probably even have a camera on me, but I don’t care enough to check. I might come Tuesday. (Big Brother can wait.)
In all honesty, I have ended up in this plum-painted room by default. Someone else is in the 4×4 gym I use to prevent condensing into complete insanity, and I didn’t want to leave the building out of the sheer guilt I created by thinking he would believe I was avoiding the place because of his existence – which I am (sort of).
I don’t mind people. I generally enjoy company. But I come to this place for silence – and by “silence” I mean music blaring against my eardrums as I use the elliptical for two hours (or until I am contemplating whether or not I’m actually breathing anymore). But – apparently – this new neighbor of mine has the same idea. Little does he know that his exercise is on my blog now. But in this little world, I half-expect I might be on his. In fact, while peeking into the gym’s glass door, I saw he, too, is on his laptop. Even though he got back on the elliptical before I could finish writing that sentence, I’m sure he was note-taking. I should know. I can recognize these things in others. I’m insane, too. Sure, insane might be a strong word, but I’m a writer. Exaggeration is in my bones. And only insane people are up at the witching hour, jogging to the new Boys II Men album. Only people like us could be found in this dinky room wondering why I cannot overcome my social anxiety to go run next to a stranger who couldn’t care less. Only I refer to total strangers as “us.” Living on the road does that to a person. And that is why I sit in a room by myself, staring at the bookshelf until I see “Scrabble” on top of a pile of unwanted books. The conclusion comes faster to me than all of the other ones before it.
Yes. I can play alone.
It might even be fun.
~SAT on #SATurday
*Not in reference to the John Travolta movie. Maybe. I haven’t decided yet.
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17 thoughts on “#SATurday: Scrabble without Friends”
I understand the dilemma of observing more than experiencing. Perhaps, for me anyway, it’s a matter of not wanting to be changed or persuaded by the scene. Even with extroverted tendencies I find it difficult to write with company unless I have chosen it. Plus, I don’t think anyone is ever really alone if they talk to themselves, right?
but if you talk to yourself… and you respond… doesn’t that mean you’re crazy? I’m just asking, I mean, I do it all the time. Right, Drew? Yeah. Oh, and by teh way, you’re looking fabulous today. Aw, thanks.
I understand having extroverted tendencies and being an introvert. I can be both – it simply depends on the day – but I am generally more introverted. And, yes, talking to yourself can often feel like talking to someone else. I think – sometimes – it’s like talking to yourself as someone you used to know, like reminding you of what they would’ve told you. For me, I talk to myself, but I often remember my mom’s voice and what she would’ve said. In that case, I don’t feel very alone at all.
I just reviewed the book “Quiet” on my blog as one of my favorite books of 2014. There’s a whole section devoted to explaining the spectrum of introversion and extroversion, which is interesting to me because creative people tend to be more introverted, but also display extroverted tendencies when they need to.
And part of why I got a cat is so I have a living creature to talk to while my husband is working late and not feel crazy 🙂
Now that sounds like a novel I need to check out. :] Thank you for mentioning it! I’ve read a few articles on the matter but never a book.
P.S. Cats are great.
My mother and father has recently taken it upon themselves to go out every morning my dad is off (my mother is retired.) to go to garage/estate sales and I sometimes join them. I never go in, just stay in the car, open my laptop and write. I feel as though my writing is somewhat altered when my surroundings are. I am a big people-watcher. I don’t write down what I see, but I do watch more intensely and I think sometimes of how I may be at the other end of that action. In truth that terrifies me. I only wish I had the willpower to go to a local cafe or bookstore to write for a few hours. But I fear being watched in a surrounding I don’t know too well.
I enjoy writing in public – but I can definitely relate to what you’re saying. I often look up and wonder what everyone else is doing and if I’m missing out on something and/or not living enough. But writing makes me feel more alive than anything else, and I’ve grown into accepting that as a part of me.
Thank you for sharing your story with everyone! I think it helps others to know they aren’t the only ones who feel this way.
I feel the same. For people who write but are less social and don’t participate I feel as though writing gives you those experiences all while in the sanctity of where you’re most comfortable.
You’re a weird kid. From one “introvert” to anot… oh wait, you hate labels. Yeah, you weren’t kidding about that.
Haha! I wasn’t. Funny part about us talking about that – I wrote this weeks ago, long before we discussed labels, but it remains true.
I almost wrote how it would be nice to have a scrabble for 1, but you don’t really need a new game for that, just parts from the 2 person and up box. I guess it’s the same with time and space. It was the wrong time for that guy to be unknowingly using the gym space when you wanted it, but was the perfect time for you to label another room to write about life in the present moment. Such a beautiful web showing how we are our own experiencers and observers, sometimes making it impossible to add another player to the scrabbling already going on in our heads trying to make sense out of random letters.
Very true! I like your perspective on it – the timing and all and how we affect one another without knowing it but maybe it was the right thing, again, without knowing it.
Thank you for commenting!
Is there only one machine? Unless this guy looks like a werewolf, you’re better off showing yourself so he knows you’re waiting for a turn. Besides, maybe he’s nice.
Haha! I actually write these posts about two weeks in advance. After writing this, I did end up overcoming it, and I did go into the gym. You’re right! Nice guy.
First, talking to yourself *is* talking to someone. Aren’t you someone? It’s just not talking to someone *else* unless, of course, you dissociative disorder. Second, I am a socially adept introvert; I interact perfectly fine with others, but I need time to myself to feel renewed and energized. It doesn’t mean that being alone is comfortable to me, any more than writing is always comfortable to me. But being in solitude, like writing, is something I need. It’s sustenance. Finally, I am diagnosed with a mental illness, but I think we all live in a world we imagine: We pretend that we know we’ll wake up tomorrow, that the world will be more or less as it is today, that we understand cause and effect, that the people we know will behave more or less consistently. Of course, the problem isn’t pretending; the problem is *forgetting* that we’re pretending. In some strange way, writing reminds me that I’m pretending I know how the world works.
BTW, I love the places you’re going with your blog since you’ve come back.
I love how you talk about living in the world we make up. I agree! And I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the new types of posts on ShannonAThompson.com. I was very nervous about how they would be perceived, but now, I’m looking forward to sharing the ones for January! It will be a great month.