Here’s a confession that will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me: I really, really like to talk.
“I like to talk too!” I bet you’re saying.
Oh, that’s cute. I bet you like to talk. You’re probably really great at talking. No offence, though, but you’re not as good as me.
Throughout the day, I chat without pause to my colleagues. (Sorry, guys). I send streams and streams of stream of consciousness texts to my boyfriend, undeterred by the fact that he hardly ever replies.
(It’s actually great, because when I get home at night, I can tell him all the same stories again in more detail. I’m pretty sure he loves it.)
At bedtime, I mumble-talk until I fall asleep. I'm the person who will keep chatting to my friends between bathroom stalls at brunch.
A teacher once wrote on my Year Nine report card that I "might learn something about Science" if I "would just stop chatting."
It's probably for this very reason that I've never lived alone. It's not something that even occurred to me as a possibility. Why would you live by yourself when you could live with other people who can't escape when you talk to them while you're peeing?
But this week, for the first time ever, I am living alone while my boyfriend is at a conference.
It's only seven days. Just six nights. One hundred and sixty-eight hours. Ten thousand and eighty minutes.
Not a big deal, right?
Except... who will I talk to?
I guess living alone isn't all bad... check out these worst things that housemates do.
Last night was my first night on my own. It was going to be fine, I told myself. I'd spent nights alone before.
I'm not a desperate weirdo, right! Right? Right???!?!?!?
Wrong. Between the hours of 6pm and 11pm, I called pretty much everyone I know.
"How's it going?" I asked my best friend.
"Pretty busy," she said, which was fair given that she has a newborn baby.
"What's happening?" I asked my mum, who couldn't chat because she was getting ready for work tomorrow.
"SPEAK TO ME!" I yelled desperately as my phone rang and rang but my old school friend didn't pick up.
I texted. I called. I Facebook messaged my friend who's overseas. I considered manufacturing a crisis as an excuse to speak to my neighbours.
I walked to the shops and made uncomfortably lengthy small talk with the guy at the bottle shop.
I wrote in my diary, for God's sake.
In the end, I baked cookies, wrapped myself in a blanket, drank
a bit a bottle of wine and thought with despair of the good old days (you know, like the day before) when my boyfriend would tell me I was being a soppy idiot.
I miss being called an idiot.
Everyone I spoke to last night told me I was wasting a great opportunity. They shared with me the ultimate secret of living by yourself: it's possible to be "alone" without being "lonely".
On paper, having the house to yourself does sound great: choosing what you want for dinner, going to bed whenever you like, singing loudly in the shower.
In actual fact, I can confirm it's the worst: nobody to talk to, nobody else to do the bad jobs like take the bins out, the bed is weirdly cold, a crushing feeling of loneliness.
Sorry, all those self-help books: I am alone, and I am also lonely.
Deep breath. Only six days to go.