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As Russ Sees It

Aug 01, 2020 07:11AM ● By Russ Carroll

Russ Carroll

As Russ Sees It

Are you talking to me?

By Russ Carroll

When I first read the guidelines for Shelter in Place, I thought, wow, I’ve been doing this for years! You see, when you’re broke and live alone, which I’ve been doing for about seven years now, it all sounds, looks, and feels like Shelter in Place. At some point, the feeling of isolation started to become real and then… things got weird.

I started to talk to myself. Now, I don’t mean thinking, oh boy, am I hungry, as I pull a single steak off my George Foreman Solo Grill. No, I’m talking about: ‘So, how do you want your steak cooked?’ and answering, ‘Medium rare.’  ‘Well, I’ll do my best, but you know I always over cook your steak.’  

Yep, I have full-on conversations. When I walk into the living room to find the front door left open, I will say, just a little too sternly, ‘Who left the door open?’ Then I slam it shut for all to hear. All to hear? I live alone!

Nearly every night, I help myself pick out a TV program. Often, during the program we picked out, I’ll run the idea by myself of getting a big bowl of popcorn or perhaps some ice cream. The practical guy I live with says, ‘I thought you were going to give that crap up.’  So, I start to negotiate. ‘How about a small bowl and then I’ll have none tomorrow night?’ ‘Sure,’ I reply, knowing that tomorrow night I can talk myself into another small bowl.

‘Hey, do I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow,’ I ask. ‘I don’t know. Why don’t you write this stuff down on the calendar? How many times have I told you, write it on the calendar!’  I walk around my little place talking to myself like a Mafia Don trying to stay out of prison. ‘If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: who left the toilet seat up?’  

Things can get a little tense when I go for that last popsicle and find it gone. ‘Who ate my popsicle?’ I cry. ‘Not me.’ ‘Well, I know there was one left because I remember saving it for tonight. I hid it behind that half gallon of ice cream you had to have and now my popsicle is gone.’ In my just-a-bit-bored voice I reply, ‘I did not touch your stupid popsicle. How old are you anyway?’ I hate it when I get like that.

Most of the interaction I have with myself is mundane, your basic banter, probably remarkably like what you have at home with your significant other. However, things can get sketchy when you are your own significant other. I threatened to move out once. You know, the classic, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ approach. It escalated quickly and I said some things I regret. I let my emotions get the best of me. But I have that ability to push all my buttons. I tried to talk myself through it but I wouldn’t listen. I tried to apologize but I would have none of it. Frustrated, I thought it best just to sleep on the couch.

Living with me is not all that bad. It probably depends on who you ask. If you ask me, it is all good! That’s because I get me. I am the Yin to my Yang, my soulmate. Although I have spent time with others, I always come back to me. One thing is for sure, I’m grateful we like the same sports teams, otherwise things could get ugly around here. But…that’s just how I see it.

To my friends, the publishers of the Community Focus, congratulations on the 11-year anniversary of your first edition. Thank y