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My Personal Side

By Craig Hastings
It’s no secret to those who know me that when I’m not at work that I’m kinda a recluse when I’m in my own home. Sure, sure, when I was twenty to thirty-five years old I ran hard with my friends and socialized with other people when I was running the circuit. However, when I was in my own home, an apartment back then, it was my preference to be left alone until it was time to leave my safe house for another evening out. Good friend Doug and I became a team of sorts sharing our nightlife activities most weeks, but I can count on one hand how many times we may have been inside one another’s apartments.

This wasn’t because my apartment wasn’t clean and tidy, and I’m sure Doug’s was too, but my home has always kinda been the space just for me. The one place I could be me without being questioned or criticized by someone else who didn’t belong. When it was time to go to bed I need not excuse myself and show anyone visiting the door. Thinking back, I must have made this obvious, because few of my friends ever showed up just because they had nothing else to do. Or, maybe they just didn’t care to just drop by to shoot the breeze! Hmmm.

Anyway, I’ve changed a little over the past year, because I’ve had a regular visitor come and go, sometimes come by and even stay the night. Since school has let out this year son Payton has been in and out, back and forth, and sometimes in for the night. We’re only a few weeks into the summer break, and I’ve adapted to having a random visitor. I know, so you think well of course it’s okay, because it’s your own son. Not so. For as long as my boys’ mother and I have been divorced I wanted the heads up when they were coming to visit. We had our regular schedule for the past eight years, but during the summer months the boys were pretty much able to call their own days where they wanted to be and when.

Because Payton is my own and because he now just pops in and out whenever he feels the need, I think I’ve discovered what was really going on all these years with visitors in my home. It hasn’t always been because I was stuck up and just didn’t want people in my home. No, I think it was always about schedules. If someone wasn’t supposed to be stopping by and without notice, then I wasn’t willing to welcome anyone into my home. It isn’t that I need time to get my home ready for people; I need to get my mind ready for them. It took my oldest son having his driver’s license and him having a mind to just go where he wanted for me to understand that I’m not as big a hermit as I’ve always thought I’ve been.

I don’t like crowds, and I won’t ever want a house full of people, but with enough notice, and if important enough, I think maybe I’m capable after all these years of uncertainty. Not only have I not had visitors in my own homes, I’ve never been someone who ventured into someone else’s home, even when invited personally or by party invitation. As the years have gone by the invitations stopped, and those same people told me they didn’t bother because they knew I wouldn’t come by. They are/were right too. It’s strange because most of my friends do like to interact and mingle in party settings, but, for whatever reason, I don’t.

I think I got this from my mother. My dad always enjoyed having people over for whatever reason he could think of. Mom dreaded most of these, but always went along because this was what was expected back in the day. Well I plan to finish my days on this earth being the hermit I’ve always been. I’ve told Shannon if she ever felt the need to have a party that she could rent the Community Building, but I’ll probably be a no show for her party too! I think there’s probably a name for my affliction, but if there’s a cure I don’t want it!

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