For a good five years of my life, living alone was the way to go. I was free of distractions, and I wasn’t forced to have any human interaction in my home, which was great, because I couldn’t seem to get away from human interaction elsewhere.

As my phone would fill up with “Are you still alive?” texts, I was just kind out there making life happen. When I would enter my apartment and hang up my social butterfly wings for the night, I would shamelessly wear my mismatched pajamas, enjoy some late night junk food, and stay up until wee hours in the morning, free of judgment. Who am I kidding? I still do the whole mismatched pajamas and junk food thing, but I do that with two other people in the house. Okay, maybe just the mismatched pajamas thing, because the bodily cost of junk food is getting higher every year.

Notice I didn’t say I still go out a lot or that I stay up until wee hours in the morning. I mean….I try to do both, but I usually end up sound asleep sitting straight up on the couch. I awake to my sister and roommate making jokes about me. Maybe I’m just getting un-cooler every year, and maybe I’m okay with that. I try to rebel and watch an “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode at 9 p.m. on a weekday, but in the middle of Marie expressing her favoritism for Ray over Robbie, I doze off. I then wake up with a neck ache and catch the tail end of Carrie lecturing Doug in the usual “King of Queens” episode before sleepwalking to the bathroom to brush my teeth and to remove my contacts which are now fiercely stuck to my eyeballs.

It’s true…..once I leave the office, I usually head home and stay home on week nights. I can’t stay awake past 10….ever. I blame it on the living room. I say it’s something in the air. I say it’s the couch. I say it’s anything, except me going downhill. How did I go from socialite to fall asleep at 10 p.m. girl? Perhaps it’s the whole living with humans thing that has taken me over. Maybe since I have at home company, I feel less of a need to go out. Yes, maybe it was home ownership that brought out my inner home body. Maybe my body just couldn’t handle it anymore. Maybe my sleep debt officially turned into sleepruptcy, and now I’m socially and sleepily sunk. I don’t know.

All I know is, my late night outs and my home alone days ended in late 2014 after buying my house. I was used to having a good 750 square feet to myself, but not over 2,100. After pretending I needed ten rooms all to myself, I broke down and moved in a couple of roommates. Though it was strange to have human interaction in my home again, I eventually grew accustomed to it again. A year and a half into it, I’ve realized I no longer really like living alone, which is odd considering I used to savor every moment of it. The thing is, I don’t live alone, but my sister and roommate have been gone for a whole five days now……..but who’s counting?

During their absence, I suddenly became scared of the dark like a five-year old girl reliving her childhood. I suddenly believed there was something terrifyingly telling about every single one of Rosco’s barks. My supposedly empty upstairs suddenly began to make every kind of noise known to man. This house was built in 1999, soooooo I’ve decided it’s either the wind, the heat swirling around, some other scientific reasoning, or this house is straight-up haunted. OR…..there’s of course always the alternative: An intruder is camped out in one of my storage closets living rent free. In case you’re wondering….I checked just to be sure. I may or may not have locked my bedroom door every night, in addition to rechecking my other locks and my alarm system multiple times.

Like Kevin McCallister, I believed Harry and Marv were on their way, and I wasn’t having it. I came close to doing his classic hands-on-the-face scream due to the strength of my essential oils, but I held my composure. Rather than cook real food, I returned to the lazy open the can and heat the food kind of meals. Every siren has alarmed me and every paranoia I’ve ever had has come to visit. I’m hopeless and helpless, my friends. Nonetheless, my two housemates should be back in a few hours….I’d say 4 or 5 a.m.-ish……but again…..who’s counting?

Holly Marie Tong is an award-winning journalist and the author of Chick Flicks Lie. She’s putting a new nightlight on her birthday list and thinks it’s time LA Gear light-up shoes make a comeback.

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