In response to the Sandbox writing Challenge – Lonely
This challenge, asks simply what makes us lonely. It seems really straight forward. I imagine most folks feel lonely when they are alone. Seems only logical to feel alone when that is your actual physical state. Some others might say it’s an experience or a status that we own, one that sets us apart in a crowd, one that isolates us from our peers. These are all very true, and I concur.
I feel alone when I am alone, I feel alone when I talk to people in their early twenties. I often find my internal voice asking constantly if I was that…uh…clueless. I feel alone when I speak and my vocabulary and not my point is a matter of conversation. Yes in all these things I feel alone, but for me that doesn’t mean I am lonely. I rather like my own company most days. I think I’m kinda cool, I know how to fill my consciousness. I write, I read, I cook, I watch Naked and Afraid and chortle at the TV, as if I could do even a day in the wilderness naked with a stranger. No, being alone doesn’t make me lonely.
What does make me feel lonely is being around people. What makes me feel lonely is being in a group of like folks, folks unlike me. Folks who make me think twice about talking and make me ache to be at home. “You don’t fit in here” my little voice says. “You don’t look like them, they don’t look at you, they have no interest and you are not inclined to make a fool of yourself to make them show some.” Yes when those thoughts come I am lonely, but it gets worse.
Have you ever been alone with someone? Alone in a time when it’s expected that interaction with each other would be necessary, welcome? A car ride for two, a romantic evening, cuddle time…
Imagine that, then imagine that person finds their interest elsewhere. In a laptop screen behind some headphones, on a phone screen talking to someone else, showing in all obviousness that you are not at all a thing to which they want to show attention? Now that is lonely, deep, dismal, awkward lonely. It’s not comfortable silence, to be aware of someone in your space and just enjoying their presence in the soothing quite.
That is to be skin hungry, starving actually.
That is to feel words stuck in your throat like lumps of concrete covered in sand paper.
That is to twiddle your thumbs wondering why you are here.
That is listening to road noise, or the drone of a radio riddled with static, while looking longingly out the window at the posts whizzing by.
That is to feel like all the world would be made fine with a kiss, from someone on death row, with no conjugal privileges.
That is to feel unwanted, unappreciated, just un.
The kind that drives me to want solitude to truly be alone where at least I can understand the emptiness.