I spent the last weekend not drinking and avoiding most social interactions if they involved human beings. I spent Sunday cooing at dogs and not wearing shoes and peeling clementines in my backyard as if I were some Real Life Tumblr Goddess. It’s a luxury I feel like I can rarely afford during any time of the year but the summer, during which it’s totally excusable—and usually highly encouraged—for people to escape from the city for 48 hours without telling anyone.
One of my favorite things to do (and coincidentally everyone around me’s least favorite thing I do) is to drop off the face of the Earth unexpectedly and without notice of when I’ll resurface again. I’d say I’m On most of the time and pick up calls and email back within minutes and usually answer texts with three or four consecutive messages—a coworker once told me her first impression of me was when I moved my desk next to hers and told her I hated being left alone for more than five minutes—but I mostly just love the build up to a solid two days of radio silence and zero notifications.
It’s like I need to find time to distract myself from everything. It’s not necessarily that I’m exhausted from socializing or wiped out from being On, but more about the control of being able to shut it all off if I wanted to and when I want to.
I feel like it’s similar to how on some days I will get off at Union Square rather than transfer to the 6 train and will walk 20-something blocks to my apartment. I take a different route each time, but I prefer the longer ones. Or how my solution to small bouts of anxiety would be to abruptly go to the movies so that I’m socially pressured to not look at my phone and I’m surrounded by cool darkness and plush chairs that lean back and people I don’t know. Or I’ll wander around grocery stores by myself and not buy anything.
I only thought of all of this because I also spent a good chunk of the weekend reading Durga Chew-Bose’s Too Much And Not The Mood—which I had weirdly been saving. I didn’t want to start it because I was so excited to read it for the first time. I re-read books constantly; I think I’ve read The Da Vinci Code at least 13 times. I don’t know why. I wish I had a more impressive book to say that I’ve re-read 13 times, but I seriously think I’ve read The Da Vinci Code more times than any other book. The movie was eh.
Because nook people are turned on by and twig how terribly normal it is to drop out of life occasionally.
I rarely write in books because I feel like I’m back in my 10th grade English class where I once cried in the bathroom after an in-class essay and my teacher used to make us show her the pages of our copies of The Metamorphosis to see if we were actually annotating. It was the class that changed my life. But, anyway, even though writing in books makes me feel like I’m back in school, I’ve recently started picking it up again because I usually just quietly fold over the bottom corner of pages where I think the writing is fantastic—the problem with that is, when I go back to those pages, I have to read the whole page to remember why I wanted to remember it. Now I underline everything.
I love very specific and tiny details. Details are the difference between “ha ha funny” and “wow, that was clever.” Details stick.
So this detail about finding it “terribly normal” to drop out of life made me scribble under it. Because it’s something I do all the time that I’ve never really thought about it being not normal in the first place.
And with this newfound knowledge that it is not normal to drop out of life occasionally, I’d like to formally announce that I’ll be doing it for the entirety of the summer.