I am full, buzzed and lying naked in the middle of a king-sized bed. I make snow angels on the soft white sheets. I am in bliss.
I love my family truly, deeply, madly. I love them more as I write these words because I am about 400 miles away from them. For me, absence does make the heart grow fonder.
I’m spending the night in San Francisco, a city I love to wander and explore. But this time, I don’t plan to leave the hotel. For the 12 hours or so before I go off to meet my responsibilities at the independent school conference that brought me here, I am going to revel in being Amy Sommer, anonymous hotel guest. No one will ask me about kids, spouses, friends – not even why my hand twitches—because we will not come to know each other well enough or long enough to become acquaintances. I am the woman from Room 704 at table 12 to whom an accommodating waiter will bring a dirty martini and a dozen oysters as I read the newspapers that are my dining companions. I am a random woman in the corner who stares at fellow patrons between articles. I am the 12-hour free spirit who has abandoned her iPhone seven floors above to be alone and unknown. I am the smiling stranger content with her own company.
And, I am the woman who, after 24 selfish hours, will return to Los Angeles to love her family more truly, more deeply and more madly for the distance. Absence makes the heart grow fonder because it reminds us that silence is golden – but only for a spell.