Posts tagged with "loneliness"

almost like the blues

Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and surprising things, and sometimes little wondrous things, spill out in me constantly, and I can count on nothing.

—Philip K. Dick

Winter has traditionally been a difficult time. In my youth, the holidays were filled with family gatherings where I never found my place1. Then I started coming into my own, but everyone else began spending time with their significant others, leaving me an observer with a surrogate family. Eventually, I grew the need for a connection with people who could better understand the person I’d become, and again found myself in exile.

cat with bass guitar

This year is no different. The weather has been particularly punishing, with extreme cold fronts that make any form of travel a literal pain. It’s a fine line between inspiration and oppression when trapped in a winter wonderland. Even after a week of Darren’s company, along with new instruments and some of the stickiest of the icky, I haven’t been able to shake this feeling of loneliness.

Continue reading “almost like the blues”…

  1. Now I realize that being forced to spend a night with a random assortment of people is a crapshoot at best. []

facing eternity, or the lack thereof

Heather managed to snag a job at a great company on the other side of town. She started her training last month, and I couldn’t be more proud of her for making the cut after months of resumes and applications, hope and patience.

While it makes sense for her to start working, I’ve been forced to deal with an unsettling void in the house — like the deafening silence of a blackout, when the electronic hums and glows cease to provide their perpetual company. We never spent more than an hour apart before this, when she might have stepped out to grab some groceries or a prescription1; nearly two years where we couldn’t help but be closely in tune with each other’s needs and moods. Now, it feels like we barely have a chance to get our dailies with a bit of extra content before it’s time for bed.

Cadem Forest in Plains of Ashford

I always travel with my menagerie of cats; this month with Zuzu, Cat of Darkness at my feet (in celebration of Halloween) and Brill on my back (who’s actually a tiger cub).

Losing so much of each other has been a difficult adjustment. I wasn’t ready for this. It wasn’t a decision I made. I’m not use to being so alone, or even taking care of myself, for that matter2. When she’s away, the void makes it painfully clear how much I surrounded myself with her. I can’t even write without mentioning her, cause there’s rarely a decision I make without considering her first, whether it’s how we’re going to spend our time or what I’m going to say next.

It’s a difficult reminder of many years spent without a partner or parent to rely on. I’ve been trying to reclaim my independence by picking up small responsibilities. Something as simple as making my space more comfortable, whether it’s a thorough cleaning or new lighting arrangement, turns into a chance to succeed and feel accomplished. Even games become little projects, ways of exercising my creativity or keeping myself sharp.

I knew Heather would eventually be working, and I’d be alone. Now the day has come, and I’m constantly wondering: who am I when I’m by myself? What do I do to fill the hours that she’s away?

At least it’s given me a chance to write again. The break hasn’t been entirely intentional. Part of it is the fact that writing takes energy, and I rarely have any to spare when I’m trying so hard just to feel okay. Another part is the fact that I haven’t needed this in the same way since I met her. She’s become an important outlet, one who always makes herself available to me. There hasn’t been the same longing to write, cause I haven’t needed to vent, or sort out my thoughts, or feel validated.

Nevertheless, this period of emptiness has become a chapter in itself. A change that will be a great deal of the rest of our lives. I’m stuck here, while the days stretch out before me with endless possibility. The hard part is finally stumbling into the life I’ve always wanted, finding a partner who fills in my gaps in all the right ways, but not being ready for it all.

  1. Aside from a few days she spent visiting her family last year. It was the first significant amount of time we were away from each other since we met, and I had a panic attack before she was out of the city. []
  2. She still handles the meals, and has a system where most things are done in the slow cooker; all I need to do is pour the contents of a bag into the pot and turn it on at a certain time, although, some days, even this can slip my mind. []

perpetual eve

This day is the same every year. The streets are dead and filled with slush, the stores all closed. No matter where I am, it seems people are looking for a channel on TV to watch a corporate-sponsored countdown, and I always feel alone even though I’m surrounded by friends.

If it’s the same every year, it’s strange that my memories of New Year’s Eve are so mixed. Jocks harassing me on the bus. Bundling up in big coats to share petit coronas outside. Panic attacks. Blonds and redheads. Rich foods and too much drink. And somehow the people I love and the people I hate end up at the same parties.

Sometimes it reminds me too much of my childhood. My family hosted the same countdown party every year that became the only real time we spent with other people, and the only time we ever caught up with our “friends”. Numbers would be shouted in unison, champagne would be toasted, nothing would change. An empty ritual for empty people. Maybe that’s why I never feel like I belong anywhere on this day. It’s like I’m waiting to feel what everyone else around me is feeling when the ball drops.

suddenly everything has changed

I know you can’t save me from what’s about to happen, but I’m tired of being strong for myself. Tired of not having you in my life. Tired of trying to not think about you. And as terrifying as the future is now, you know I’m not a hypocrite, and I know it wouldn’t be fair to either of us.

Sometimes I take the bus, walk our paths, sit in our old haunts. Hoping to catch you at a distance, so I can see how you’re wearing your hair and know you’re okay. Strangers on a train, hoping in my head that you’d sit and talk to me so we can laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all.

Sometimes I find these pictures of you I don’t remember taking, in glasses I don’t remember you ever wearing, in places I don’t recognize. A strange gap in my mind in an otherwise vivid set of experiences, and I wonder if on that day our bodies ever touched.

And while I’m sure some would blame these thoughts on the season or the breakup, the simple truth is I never realized how alone I was until the phone rang today, and I haven’t taken a breath since.