Dear Loneliness

Underwater, day 31

Dear Loneliness,

I hope my missive finds you in good health. I regret I cannot convey this to you face to face; I hope you are not offended.

My memory fails me when I ask it to reconstruct how we met. Perhaps if I knew the precise minute or year you came into my life, I could better understand you; but I’ll tell you what I did puzzle out. You first winked at me out of the pages of a book. Then you whispered to me from the notes of a song. Then you gained substance through the dial-up modem. Then one day I woke up and you were my shadow, and you never asked for permission. Or did I become your shadow?

Old pal, allow me to applaud you slowly for your cunning. It has undoubtedly taken you years to perfect your art, but your most brilliant stroke was yet to come.

And you will surely deny this, my friend, but I am pretty certain that my reasoning is valid. You knew you ran the risk of being exposed sooner or later, so you transformed your presence from desire — to need. You made yourself so soft and comfortable that even the slightest disapproval from the world outside made me run back to you for cover. You have always been the one to pat my shoulder and my ego whenever I got humiliated or criticized, and you conveniently forgot to mention that trial and error were part of life, too. You silently encouraged me to surround myself with weak, lesser people, people I could dominate; and cringe away whenever I felt inadequate. Of course you never told me that the top of the mountain was the worst place to be. Instead of teaching me to observe and learn and be humble, you advised me to find flaws and smirk and deny.

It is but righteous fate then, my friend, that turns my smirk at you this time.

You see big L, you gave yourself away. Perhaps your fate was set in sparkling stones light-years away, or perhaps you carved it yourself, though I am clueless as to why you would… and who am I to tell you who to be? You showed me your greatest flaw, and it took me so long to understand what I saw.

I was walking in the middle of the street, noises flying past me, counterclockwise. The two yellow lines under my feet seemed to stretch ahead endlessly, and I was just thinking that if they were a large enough circle, I would never find out. Then a lamppost walked past me, in the opposite direction. And suddenly you were on the street in front of me. I don’t know what drew my eyes towards you, my shadow, but I saw something extraordinary. There was another shadow on the asphalt: someone must have been walking on the sidewalk. And you shadows were holding hands.

You fascinated me in that moment. I wanted to stop and see if you would go on without me. But since you didn’t seem to notice my startled gasp (I still don’t know whether you are deaf, my quiet friend), I just went on like nothing has happened.

I’ve been thinking about that ever since, Loneliness, and what it meant. Today I think I am close to the answer. Perhaps an outsider would call it obvious, but nothing is obvious unless (or until) you believe it. Anyway my friend, here is my greatest complaint to you. You are lonely.

You want a shadow friend more than anything else. You’d even sacrifice your carefully built facade just to be with her.

Which makes me wonder: why are you lonely? Are you blaming a shadow too, like I am? Will someone some day blame me for their loneliness? I dread the day I receive this letter.

So what now, you ask? My friend, I do not know. But I shall be looking for a new shadow.

Fare thee well!

P.S. Stop trying; I changed the locks.

11 Responses to Dear Loneliness

  1. indigested says:

    Who is more than a shadow to you?
    I think you’ve just been a backstabber for your big L and maybe he was in need for it.
    Funny, stabbing the shadows.

    One thing I couldn’t get. Locks to what?

  2. Constantin says:

    Locks to wherever shadows live.

  3. artevo says:

    Cînd citesc aşa chestii văd oameni ce stau in depresii de ani de zile . Văd un om fară libertate , un om ce este marginit de lumea cărţilor şi propriilor analize demente ale societăţii . Sunt un om simplu , nu mă gîndesc să scriu articole geniale sau filozofii despre singurătate , scriu uneori ce am pe suflet în cinci minute şi nici nu-mi pasă ca scriu asta pe la 4 dimineaţa şi poate sunt greşeli şi poate e stupid . Dar un om ca tine trăeşte dorind să se afirme cumva , eşti um om marginit , un om care se descompune în lumea lui de singuratate , un om care poate îi urăşte pe toţi şi se considera neînţeles de o lume întreagă Nu vreau să te judec dar cînd citesc aşa articole îmi dau seama de ce degradează societatea noastră ( da ea degradează în două direcţii una spre gopnici retarzi la colţul străzii şi alta spre oameni complecsaţi ce se simt singuri , deprimaţi neînţeleşi , oameni care ar cadea în cele mai mari dezmăţuri dar eul lor nu le permite). Încearcă să mergi pe linie îţi zic din experienţa mea . Şi chiar daca nu vei răspunde la ce am scris eu sau intr-un mod banal vei cauta să ma insulţi şi să araţi ca eşti “pe vîrf ” puţin îmi pasă . Fă asta dacă te temi să-şi perzi faţa în faţa “prietenilor ” tăi pe net .

  4. Constantin says:

    Presupui ca ceea ce sunt si ceea ce scriu sunt unul si acelasi lucru.

    “sa mergi pe linie”?

  5. artevo says:

    Tu singur stii ce e adevărat şi ce nu deşi direct nu poţi să recunoşti :). Cred că ştii foarte bine ce e “să mergi pe linie “, ai citit tu prea multe cărţi ca să nu ştii …

  6. aporia says:

    Amazing post. Undeniable :]

  7. ilovemint says:

    Allow me to say this is brilliantly written =)

    So loneliness is lonely itself, a shadow…so, it doesn’t exist independently on its own?
    Is loneliness a cycle?

    I’m not sure, but of one thing I know, loneliness is the modern ghost of civilisation. It haunts us everywhere.

    Books replace company. Movies replace laughter. Music replaces conversation.
    Locked doors replace feelings.

    Are we struggling against something bigger and more powerful that us? Or are we simply struggling against ourselves?

  8. Constantin says:

    I wish I could answer that, but today I am more convinced than ever that I have no answers.

  9. Jozef says:

    Good writing. A bit like looking in the mirror, though. Which makes it more than just a good writing for me.

    Good luck for you :o)

  10. hal2k says:

    inspiring an article in beauty

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