My wife and children are gone this week, and possibly next. Due to the many hours I've been putting in at work, it hasn't impacted me yet, but I fear its going to be a long weekend. All alone in a quiet house gets unsettling quick. mr_dowg had me over last night, as his wife is gone as well this week. He grilled some magical t-bone steaks, I brought beer, and we watched Gran Torino. I got home at 2200 and slept with the bedroom door open to allow the cat the opportunity to sleep on the bed. She didn't, but I was startled when I awoke this morning as she was perched on the dresser staring at me. Unsettling.
I have this recent recurring element in my dreams where I'm walking down a miles-long path to a crowded and bustling souq market for a variety of reasons, and while those reasons vary and the situations for my being there differ, before I can get to the souq, there's a large white wood-frame house which completely blocks the road - there's no way to the market without walking through this house, which I'm obviously hesitant to do, as its a residence.
The first time I traversed the house either the door was open, or I was walking through with a group of people. Regardless, I found it an odd arrangement. The house opened directly to the souq on the other side. Sometimes I go up to the door and wait for the owners to come home, granting me access through, other times they're home and I just knock. Other people will walk past me, open the door, and go in to get to the other side, but I won't without permission.
The house appears to be occupied by a well-to-do elderly lady which I'm sure I've never seen, and her son (who drives a dark blue 10-year-old Chevrolet Silverado shortbed 4x4 pickup) and his girlfriend. They're younger than me and rich, but the son is quite pleasant and polite, though I always feel as if I'm being toyed with - he seems to manage to get to do things - barter if you will for passage, though it always appears to be my idea, as if I feel I must earn it. These activities I perform can be crosswords from the newspaper, Myst-like puzzles, or even interacting in some way with his attractive girlfriend. They're not complicated tasks, but I often feel demeaned afterwards. We're amicable towards each other, but there's always something elusive about the situation which leaves me feeling unsettled.
I've been playing a lot of Bejewled in the evenings, and have plans to lay in bed at least one day this weekend and watch Airplane!, Spies Like Us, and Stripes. I'll walk the dog, do the dishes, drop off my dry cleaning and do a load of laundry, but it will all feel different because my wife and children are gone. We've been geographically separated many times, often for great lengths of time, but its always unsettling at the onset.