It's an interesting concept, loneliness. I am never really alone — surrounded by friends, co-workers, strangers at the grocery store, the occasional family member — yet I classify myself as such more often than not. Sometimes out of sorrow, sometimes out of delight (have you ever gone to a movie by yourself? Awesome.)
And what's more, every person that classifies them self as alone, as lonely, feels as if they're the only one. And yet, I know better. Everyone does. I am one of billions of people that feels that isolation, the seclusion, the abyss that is loneliness.
That realization does nothing to soothe the sting.
Each has their own brand of loneliness, specially formulated to prick, to crush, to suffocate, to slash, to tear and burn and strangle the life from their frame. No one is alone is feeling lonely (irony, is it not?) but each is alone in their uniquely cruel solitude.
I'm not especially lonely right now, more just pensive. I found several scraps of poems I started more than a year ago on the subject of being alone, each one with strong imagery and no ending. That, in itself is an allusion to loneliness — potent, and seemingly without end.
I want to post some of what I wrote, for no other reason than to share the imagery of loneliness. My own brand of loneliness, from July 2010.
I've heard someone say they were suffocating in loneliness.
But I find it hard to suffocate in nothingness.
The loneliness is maddening
It is relentless
It is without end.
Comparing it to suffocation is not
enough, for it does not kill,
It only ages.
It ages me. I feel my face clenching back like a vacuum pack sealer.
It will not release me.
I am aging alone.
It isn't painful. It is —
What do the doctors say?
It presses on my chest without,
while the [end]
I am bloated with loneliness.
The pressure builds, pushing my stomach out,
My pants cut into my flesh.
Loneliness is a Texas summer.
Hotter than description.
Barren in brown.
Loneliness is being bloated.
Gas pushing the pants into my flesh.
Loneliness is an imbedded tic.
There, but good for nothing.
There. Sucking life.
Loneliness is who I've become.
I wanted to find myself.
I never wanted to find myself alone.