Almost Comfortable

November 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s easy enough living alone, but I’m not after convenience. It’s easy to do nothing about it, to insulate my hermitage with books and movies and music, to seal in the desperation that erodes my patience. Eventually, I will love myself, but I don’t know if I can wait that long for someone to love me. (Who else is saying that? I’m not the first.) Or am I waiting on my own ability to love someone else? waiting is waiting. It’s still inaction. What action’s to be taken? Desperation motivates but offers tricks for ideas. I don’t do tricks. There’s nothing to be gained fooling someone; I’m the guinea pig I proved that on. Between patience and desperation is the life I live. It’s not the happiest of media, but it’s easy, and it’s almost comfortable.

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End of the Tunnel

October 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

There is more past behind me than future ahead of me. The end is nearer than the beginning. I see it more clearly. The past is full of innumerable presents I never had time to understand. The future promises that understanding, but the wisdom awarded smacks of consolation: What do I do with it? The future will be spent stoically mopping milk, dusting the thick-grown regret from the surfaces of a half-lived life at least three-quarters done. Wondering if living alone is worse than dying alone. Peeling away identities curling at the edges. Appreciation of, after resignation to, what’s left after the cleanup, gradually acclimating to the stark gleam of the end of tunnel.

Not Hiding

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Getting to know love and appreciate oneself requires aloneness. Aloneness is easy. One’s toleration of it is gauge of one’s comfort with oneself. Some of us possess this comfort jealously, to the exclusion of others. Others may learn, in their solitude, to hate themselves the more, and consider it a favor bestowed upon the world to not project themselves upon it. That is a recluse. That is not me. What I am I want others to know. I can only share that about myself with which I have come to terms–that I accept in its imperfectness without judgement. I am alone, and I might be alone for some time yet–I am still judging myself and finding myself wanting–but I am not hiding.

It’s Giving Up

September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Is all of the love one seeks love for oneself? Is the end of seeking it from another the end of the search? We end the search when we’ve found it or have given up hope of finding it. In between is the torture. Some of us are more ready than others to give up the torture. Some of us have done enough searching to conclude that the point of diminishing returns is long past and cannot possibly be redeemed. At least it’s something final to believe, one less thing to bother with. But that no one can complete us is no good reason to accept aloneness. “Complete” or not, we are not meant to be alone, but to share ourselves, and to partake of others’ sharing. Searching is trying to share. Not-finding is not-sharing, but keeping is not completing. It’s giving up.

In Alone’s Image

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Wet is just wet, and cold is just cold. I learned that on a bicycle. I feel them, but the discomfort reaches a threshold beyond which they are just films on the skin. Alone is alone, too, on a bike, but not just. Alone comes from the inside, oozing out a shield against all that it wants. What it thinks it’s protecting me from, I don’t know. Eventually, I get out of the cold and wet and get dry and warm, and the alone expands. I hate the alone, but I own it, like some people own depression: It’s one of the definitions of the self. Alone chose me and formed me, made me in its image. It is not me; but I am it.

In My Pajamas

May 15, 2012 § 4 Comments

Getting to know myself has required a lot of time alone, but I have no intention of becoming hermetically sealed in my apartment. I bore myself sometimes. After the movies, books, music, and writing, there’s still no one there to talk to about them. I talk to myself, but I always know what I’m going to say. So I go to Carytown. It’s crowded, as a city street should be, with lots of shops from which I might actually buy something, but I’m just looking for conversation. I never know if I’m going to get it, but I know early on which it’s going to be. The first person I have opportunity to talk to is the bellwether. The sooner I get out after my morning coffee, the better chance I have to ignore my shyness. The conversation doesn’t start if I don’t initiate it. Some days I just can’t do that. It seems that on those days no one talks to me, either. Is it just that kind of world? or do I look like I don’t want to interact? Give me a couple more choices. On those days I want to think that if I stay out there a little while longer something will happen, but all that happens is I get home much later than I intended, feeling I’ve wasted the day, made no progress at all in my socialization, and dug myself a little deeper into my loneliness. Sounds like something I could have done at home in my pajamas.

The Wisdom to Understand It

March 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

The distance between me and my daughters will grow. I would at least like to think that it is not so broad as it could easily have been by now. Children grow up. They leave to have lives of their own. Yet something else for me to accept. I will, but hardly without envy of boyfriends and husbands. Often, I turn conversations with them to musing on our mutual future: I’m eager for their emancipation into adulthood, if for selfish reasons, such as the freedom to spend more time with me. But they could spend it with others as easily. My fear is of not being the first choice, but certainly I will be that more than once. Abandonment looms threateningly even now, and I’m afraid I’ve conveyed that in our conversations, laid a foundation for guilt to be built upon. I don’t want their pity any more than anyone else’s. I’m preparing myself for being alone, but I don’t intend to press the issue. They will leave for other lives and leave me to a new one of my own. That that new life could be as rewarding without (or with less of) them is hard to believe, but I do believe there’s time to get used to the idea and to grow the wisdom to understand it.

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