Home Alone

La vida sola

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: August 26, 2006

Home Alone

My wife and her sister have been gone a week on a lengthy trip to Central America, and I?ve been home alone. Being home alone happily married is one thing and being home alone as a bachelor is one billion percent different.

Although it is true that I can watch what I want, eat what I want, stay up late, stay in bed late, I find myself maintaining the exact same married schedule. Now I know how Cheech felt without Chong, Heckle without Jeckle, and Fidel without his beard. My life is like the sound of one hand clapping.

It?s freeing to know that I could wheelie my sport bike up and down the street at dawn wearing a Fez on if I wanted to, or eat corn flakes and chili con carne for dinner in the front room, not having combed my hair or shaved for a week, but what?s the point? At my age, knowing that I could do something if I wanted to is reward enough. It?s just like when you have your first job and you get paid. You go to the corner store and know that you could buy anything you want, so you don?t buy anything.

Sobering to realize that I have no friends to hang out with. Most of them are either gone or incarcerated. Others are as square as a brick and twice as thick. The ones who aren?t, are more boring, eruditely conservative and way less fun then the dearly departed. What have served as my best companion are my memories. Towards that end I blasted the Directors Cut of Woodstock, brought my bass into the living room and rocked out via home theater. This caused our doggie Miss Sally to begin missing the potty box on a regular basis; we both need aggressive behavior modification before Mama gets home.

A husband or wife relationship works in perfection when each are each other's best friend, soul mate and life partner. I?m blessed to have worked myself into this situation, but not without trial and error and I do mean trial in the literal sense.

Not having that someone to share your ridiculous stories, observations, insults and clowning makes for a boring middle classless life. Time this week seems to crawl by, the clock mired in molasses, and when she calls I have to act happy or else it will blow her trip. She can hear pathos in my voice and has a special radar to hear the things not said but heart felt. I o my best not to sound abandoned and weak. Did I mention that I watched American Me and Zoot Suit again?

It is somehow macho for men to say that they don?t miss the Mrs., but I do. I?ve approached mid-life with no remorse, I spent my whole life doing what I wanted when I wanted and have no regrets, just a few scars and a treasured chest of war stories. It is pathetic to see older cats getting dressed up in their Huggy Bear wear and hit the club sans wedding band, trying to make up for the female attention they never got when it was their turn back in the day.

A word to wayward husband Homies: If you were a nerd then, you are a nerd now with a bigger belly, your wife is too good for you. If you dishonor yourself, you dishonor your family. Your legacy will be that of a loser.

Homies need to learn how to age gracefully with dignity and a really nice luxury car.

Mi Vida will be back in two days and the house will have to endure another Central American-military styled cleanliness inspection, I?ve already put Sally on alert. This time I?ve planned ahead, and made it a point not to mess up the house in the first place. We stay out of certain areas, only use one bathroom, do the dishes after every meal, read, throw the wrappers away and use the same cereal bowl.

I?ve lost 5 pounds.

The hardest part is bedtime, I find myself sleeping on her side. I don?t start out that way, I just keep rolling over, viscerally searching for the warm comfort only to find a faceless pillow. I feel like I?m on the road in my own home. Lettermen and Leno aren?t that funny when there is no one to laugh with, and If I?m up for Conan, then the issue is not loneliness. It?s separation anxiety and player hating because I still can?t believe Conan got Leno?s gig.

Mi Amor would have told me sweetly that someday I?ll make it too and I?d believe her.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos has been married 23 years.

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