Thursday 10 March 2011

Love thy neighbour (or try)

Whatever I said about feeling at home here recently, I think it has more to do with the flat I am in and the town I live in rather than our direct neighbours. At least they are not rude or loud, but oh how I long for Liverpool when we did not see them and did not interact with them, when even the housemate I did not like much I did not have to see her much, because the house was so big. I could spend days in the house without seeing anyone. There are some nice people in this block, all of them in fact. But there are a few old people who are just so chatty just when I want to go out or need to be somewhere else (in a pub, at work or simply outside).

There is not many things I find more irritating than to deal with people who are too friendly, who monopolise time when you have little to spare, who basically take space when you would rather be alone. Loneliness is often a luxury I cherish. It is not nearly as bad as having a loud junkie teenager as a neighbour, as my brother reminded me in a comment here, which was what we had for a while in Montreal. It does remind me a bit of Rosemary's Baby, except they are not Devil Worshippers (as far as I know). It took me a while to like the town I live in, this is one thing I will not miss much when I leave it. I wonder sometimes why I get so antisocial. Maybe it is a generation thing (although I love old people when they are lovely), maybe it is because I am a foreigner (although I have been living here for more than ten years), but I think there is something in me that has issues with society, or at least busybodies. They make me feel misanthropist. Thick walls, high fences and an attic room to read and write is all I need sometimes. Not always, I do need to be in the company of my fellow hominids, but sometimes.


Anonymous said...

In the small town where I used to live I did the shopping during soap opera viewing time so as to avoid chitchat in the shops, so I understand the frustration, especially when its at an akward time. But most old people are quite lonely, and so I also try to understand how that must feel. But I think that it's less about you being young, and them being old, but about feeling compelled to engage in smalltalk which at times can be stressful. I have never mastered that art. Don't feel too bad, and learn to walk faster, and pretend to admire the sky. Make eye contact, and you are finished. The line about Rosemary's baby does seem a bit extreme though :-)

Leigh Russell said...

Like you, Guillaume, I need my own space. Is that one of the attractions of blogging - that you can interact with other people in your own time. You can 'talk' to people without encroaching on their time when they're busy, or enjoying their solitude, and 'listen' when you feel like 'company'.