When T flies home, I have been lucky enough to always have a little post-visit time at my parents' house (we always book tickets to/from Kansas City). Spending time with family is a good way to prepare for the transition back to Columbia. I am still in a house with people; there is always opportunity for spontaneous conversation; I am not alone.
I never go back to Columbia on a Sunday. Instead, I wake up at dawn on Monday morning to make the two-hour trek back so that I can maybe have a coffee, and more importantly, get to work on time. A day like this helps me trick myself into thinking I have a lot to do. Going to work, unpacking, tidying up, going to the gym, and other sundry things distract me from what's missing. It usually isn't until I've made a late dinner that something starts to feel strange. And it isn't even T's direct absence from the apartment. It's the music. I have always cherished the quiet. The moans of an old building mixed with the sirens and cars humming down College Avenue make up the Windsor Street soundtrack. When T visits, the apartment is always filled with music. It's split between the keyboard in the living room and iTunes. The sexiness of Francoise Hardy floats through the kitchen as T flips over the salmon and pours a glass of wine (almost simultaneously). Our laughter, my crummy dance moves and Major Laser host an impromptu party in the office. Goldmund lilts us into a lunchtime nap. Our days are filled with so many songs, it's impossible for one to get stuck in my head.
Without T, I do listen to music, but a lot of the time things are quiet. I decompress. I'm left alone with my thoughts. This is normally okay, but for the first couple of weeks that he is not here, I require constant musical and vocal distraction. Gradually, Hot Chip turns into Beach House turns into Kings of Convenience turns into All Things Considered, until I am back to only me and my quiet and the simmer of salmon in the pan.
I'm nearly there. Tonight, Fred Child and Performance Today were carried in from the car to the apartment. The Irish National Orchestra filled my bedroom with Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and a Chopin Nocturne followed me to the kitchen. Jon Stewart kept me company while I ate dinner, and by 9 o'clock, it was just me and the Windsor Street soundtrack.