You’ve heard of the Hermit Kingdom, land of a dictator, well, I live in the hermit hovel, an old bungalow with a cat and countless mice, who under threat of death by cat stay in their hermit holes within the hermit hovel.
I am not a dictator, I’m an affable loner, formerly a gregarious husband and man about town. It’s a different story now. Few people, in fact nobody seeks admittance to the hermit hovel, except once in a while the handyman Tom who comes around when something breaks and we have a beer together but most of the time I don’t call him and I try and fix it myself or just deal with it.
In my brief sorties into the outside world, I drive to the liquor store and the convenience store, conveniently avoiding the supermarket, and then I drive back home where I looked after my wife when she fell ill and was at her bedside when she left the planet and went to another— I don’t know where she went, kingdom maybe, I don’t know, I kind of doubt it, but you never know.
I live in a limbo of hopeless hope, or perhaps it’s hopeful hopelessness. I did not choose to live this way, especially not live my last years this way but that’s the way it went and there’s nothing I can do about it.
After nearly two years of the hermit life I was getting psyched up to go out and seek companionship, not a new lady, just some friends maybe, go back to the bar my wife and I used to go to, it’s only a mile down the road so you can have a few drinks and still drive home safe or walk home if you get plastered.
But covid had a different plan. We’re all in the same boat there so I’m not going to complain about that. I’m not really complaining about anything, except that I’m out of beer and it’s two o’clock in the morning and I’ll have to wait seven hours to go out and get some more.
One of the things I’ve discovered during my hermitage, besides the stark charm of Japanese poetry and the comforting presence of a cat, is that a breakfast of bacon and eggs tastes even better with beer.