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Coming back to LA was hard this week. I live by myself in a small apartment, and, while it’s convenient to leave clothes out and not have to worry about things looking spiffy all the time, the place can feel like a prison cell when you settle into a self-pitying rut where all you do is cook, clean, work, and watch old Office episodes on Netflix at home. It is a shitty life.

This weekend I decided to visit my friend J’s place in SGV. We went out and ate Asian comfort food, got some desserts at an Asian plaza, and hung around his house until it was time for me to leave.

But I didn’t.

I told J that I didn’t want to go home. Because home wasn’t good for me. Staying home and letting my mind drift into the cognitive penumbra is not good for me. Returning to my own space was not good for me, at least at this moment in my life.

So J lent me a square pillow and two small blankets, and I slept on the living room carpet. I had a nightmare – but I woke up to J microwaving last night’s leftovers in the morning.

The rest of the day was filled with errands and small conversations here and there. It felt so good to let these conversations and little errands buoy my thoughts above the waters’ surface. I felt like I was breathing again.

And I feel like, for me, this is what I need and want in life. I idolize the hermit, the philosopher, and the wise sage, but the truth is that I need to have moments where I can just hear a person press the buttons of a microwave. The need for human activity scurrying around me, and for the occasional and innocent “how are you” to keep my attention and focus on the outside rather than within.

J does not know how important it was for me to crash at his place. To joke around. To eat asian food. To do random, mundane errands at Walmart. To watch an inconsequential baseball game on ESPN. To sit in silence surfing the web on our iphones.

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