This is probably going to sound incredibly pedestrian, but I was just looking at the contents of my fridge as I put my groceries away. Every single thing in the fridge is something I love. Pickled cornichons, proscuitto, houmous, white wine, fresh orange juice, soya milk, tomatoes, broccoli, coconut cream… every single item is there for me, chosen by me. I’ve been living on my own for fifteen months yet today was the first time the fridge-factor struck me. After so many years sharing fridge space with a partner or flat-mate, this is now my kingdom, and I love it. I love that my reign influences the entire flat: treasured objects are displayed just as I like them, books and magazines are strewn everywhere, my desk can be messy and I don’t care, the bathroom is always pristine. I don’t think I would ever want to give up this freedom.
Surviving an event as devastating as the death of someone you love can make you feel invincible. I have a friend who survived a train crash a few years ago, and he said the same. Now he feels he can do anything, though it is tinged with guilt as he remembers the people who died in the crash, but nevertheless, the feeling of invincibility remains. Now I have survived this I do feel guilty when I fill up my fridge and know that my lover can’t do the same, but there is a new thought too: I have to carry on. There is so much more life to live, I no longer want to avoid it. This is such a new place for me and I’m very gently nurturing it. I’m still not ready to venture too far from my safety – I still probably spend a bit too much time on my own – but I can’t bring him back so I must carry on, though towards what I have no idea. I can’t imagine ever being touched again; I don’t know if I want to be, I don’t know if I could risk that pain, that vulnerability. It feels safer on my own, and as I’m starting to like it, perhaps this is the way forward.