Loneliness

116.

A personal book review written for a book loved much.

Tell me if you have ever thought of that one stranger, or many more. Remembered the curve of their smile or the flecks of light in their eyes.

I have, and I know what it means to lie awake wondering where they have gone, and if they are still here.

Even as a child growing up, stories unspoken in people unmet fascinated me. Though crowds are not my fancy, and fears of being closed in fluctuate without warning, the idea of knowing people deeply remained an irresistible attraction.

Without uttering hello, I have already been given a thousand goodbyes.

Meet my read, Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, an author who has done me no favour by augmenting my strange affection for nameless individuals. (more…)

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81.

People are afraid of being alone. Visit the city, that’s how one will see.

The sole ones rush quickly, earphones in, phone on the ear, the downcast face of shame. In a world so connected, solitude is a sin and loneliness is the immoral conclusion perceived.

Or must it be? For being alone happens to be my affection.

This is my secret: that in a space colossal and imbued with human energy, I stand still to watch it all. Instead of running and dashing about, my feet grow roots. I wish to recognise the life of this immense atmosphere.

On the park bench, on the windy pedestrian bridge, these places find my soul slow to a halt. I appear in their memory a flitting image, but to me they stay a little longer. These are lives by the abundant and they are stories I will never unravel. These moments can make me weep.

If I could, I would be in want to touch as many lives as possible. There’s incredible potential in one, how much more shall there be in a group? Crowds overwhelm me, but in my staring I am hopelessly enchanted. I cannot comprehend this enormity despite my best efforts.

I am happily alone in the city, but if you are willing — would you watch the city with me?

64.

He is found in the midst of chaos and split silver. Cracked mirrors and loose shrapnel.

I can’t take it anymore, he mumbles brokenly.

Do you know, do you truly know what it’s like to be unseen? Alone in a crowd, or to face a reflection that will not see you in the eyes?

I am in a mental museum, full of the dead and the past, and I’m here beyond opening hours, trapped in a space that won’t let me go. Even if there are others here, they exist past the velvet rope that I cannot cross.

And in spite of it all, I am the joke, for I find myself like air — I’m afraid that I may disappear if someone does touch me.

If no one thinks of you at all, he painfully asks, do you truly exist?

The shadows breathe across the ruined floor.

People don’t remember the moon until it hides behind the clouds, she whispers softly. But I’ll have you know, that I always have been looking for the moon. You do to me what the moon does to the tide;

You draw me in.

(And even on days when I don’t see you, I know you’re there.)

42.

I did not want to see. Sight has a way of painting pictures prettier than what they are supposed to be. It has a way of making people fall both in and out of love. A way used to judge, consider and destroy.

Day in and day out, I am clouded in darkness. In a space cold and narrow, there is no difference between the floor and the ceiling. These walls of marble are smooth and impossible to the touch. With eyes closed there were some things I could no longer understand.

Reach out, you said. To whom? Who can I reach while I’m asphyxiating in this pit, an endless tunnel of despair? In my desperation I am a flower on the wall, stuck paper-thin and immobile. Though I try, no one will hear these screams.

I am a piece of coal, indistinct, burning, burning burning burning

And gone.

I reach out at last for someone, anyone, to prove that I’m not alone. But the scariest thing isn’t taking the first step. It’s taking it and confirming your biggest fears: that there is no one, only void and this is how I will go. How do I move on from here, to know that all that remains is empty?

This is what you made me do.

Just like a dandelion in the wind, my mind’s been blown into a thousand pieces.