Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Apparently, it’s fairly common for married people to be envious and wish that they could live alone from time to time. My psychiatrist once told me that two people living together are like two balls occupying the same small box. Periodically, they’re bound to run into each other. But living alone is not an easy thing to do.
Today, I’m working on my will. I have no wife, no children, nobody in my life, so what happens to my money, what little there is, once I’m gone? I certainly don’t like the idea of the government stepping in and simply taking it, so I need a will. Our society is built for families, or at least couples, where the spouse or children automatically will get the assets in the event of someone’s death. But what about the rest of us? So, yes, I’m working with my attorney and a trust company to be sure that my assets go where I want them to go.
The reality is that it’s probably premature. I’m not in bad health (not in great either and I really don’t take care of myself as I should), and there is no indication that the end is neigh but living alone is a hazard in and of itself. If I fall, or if there’s an accident, there is nobody here to find me, and nobody to call for help if it’s needed. Not long ago, taking a shower, my towel fell off of the half-wall where I usually put it so I can access it when I’m done. It had fallen behind the wall, and as I was reaching to retrieve it, my “no-slip” mat slipped, sending me down. The fall was not injurious, but it was bad and could have easily resulted in far more harm than it did. I laid there for maybe ten minutes before recovering sufficiently to slowly try to get up again. In that time, I thought how nobody was home to hear me fall, and had I called out nobody would have heard it. I thought of the consequences had it been more serious, and what would have happened had it been fatal. Clearly, since you are reading this, I did get up and recover, although I was immensely sore for about a week.
There are so many things that are just so much more dangerous when you’re alone. I know how to work with electricity, and yet, if I make a mistake, nobody is here to help if I electrocute myself while installing new lighting. There’s a constant risk of choking on food, especially for me since I’ve had acid indigestion since my heart attack ten years ago resulting in inflammation and therefore narrowing in my esophagus. When I eat, the drink I keep with me is literally a life-saving device in case I start to choke.
And nobody would be here to perform the Heimlich.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I’m writing this about a week in advance, but if my plans went as I anticipated, I made a duckling and spent the meal fighting off a jealous cat as I ate. I’m used to eating alone, that’s no big deal. Having nobody else here means I can make what I want and don’t have to share. But if I am pulling the duck out and suddenly need somebody (say a piece of my clothing gets stuck on something) there is nobody here to help. If I start choking without realizing that I don’t have a drink, I’m on my own and it’s a race for the faucet. If I fall and the hot duckling falls on my chest, there is nobody to check on me and call for an ambulance. It’s just me.
Please think about this for a moment. If you have somebody there to watch out for you, help out if you need it, or is just present should something go wrong, I hope you truly appreciate that you are not alone. I’m the kind of guy who likes helping out. If she is in the kitchen, I’m there to see if I can lend her a hand. If she’s doing laundry, I’ll help if I can. Not everybody is like this, and I understand that, but even being with someone who doesn’t help out is better than being with nobody at all (at least safety wise, although being with a narcissist is worse than being alone emotionally). For those of you reading this, I truly hope you are in a happy and healthy relationship, and if you are, please take a moment to give them a hug.