I do this thing when I get really excited. I rub my hands together, clench my jaw, pound my hands together twice and snap my fingers as if I was packing a can of tobacco. It’s got to be one of the weirdest things about me. I have no idea where it started or where it came from. I wonder what it means about my mental makeup. But it has become second nature, almost instinctual.
I do it when the Redskins or Capitals win a close game. I probably did it when I got into JMU. Also when I found out my friend Jennings got into VCU. I did it in anticipation of my trip to Europe, knowing I was about to hang out with all my favorite people.
Lately though, I’ve been doing it a lot. In three weeks, a string of visitors are coming, and I am excited enough to look like I am having a seizure during one of my excited episodes. My brother, parents and girlfriend will all be here in less than 5 weeks.
One of the causes for my excitement prior to Europe was going to see Pat Deane, my brother from another, who lives in Rome. He was more excited I think. He told me how awesome it was to have visitors when you are in an unfamiliar place. He said he was excited to show off his city and escape the loneliness you feel as an expat. He would probably like me to add that he said it cooler than that.
I only now understand his excitement. I am relatively lonely. I have a lot of friends in town, and the townspeople genuinely like me. However often times, I have to escape the extraordinary amount of attention I receive. I recess to the more welcome confines of my room. I let out a sigh of relief. Peace and quiet. F
For the first time in my life, I am more comfortable by myself than I am in the company of others. I actually enjoy this revelation and it is contributing to what I would call personal growth, for lack of a better term. I think therefore I am or something like that.
So my room is my safe place. My loneliness is both difficult and also my sanctuary. Because outside these walls, I am walking entertainment. There is no privacy here. It is rare for me to pass someone without them attempting a conversation. I try to embrace this lifestyle and often entertain their requests.
Other times, I exchange hellos as I pass, my demeanor suggesting that I have something important to do or somewhere to be (both are highly unlikely). I tell myself I am sharing with them American culture, we are in too big of a hurry for pleasantries.
But my loneliness is almost over. It’s a good thing because I was starting to lose it. The other day, I was eating a banana in my hammock, and my favorite dog was lying next to me. I threw the peel out, which peaked Jibby’s (Translation: my hyena) interest. “Sorry, that’s just the peel. Did you want a banana?”
Not only am I talking to a dog, but I am asking it questions and waiting for a response.
But all that changes on Saturday.
Heck, there I go again. I’m the happiest kid in Bonga.