Sunday, March 17, 2013

on being alone but not being lonely

My parents tell me that I spend too much time by myself, upstairs in my room, alone. But what they don’t understand is that being alone is different than being lonely. The distinction between the two is like the separation between the ocean and dry land, the line between loving someone romantically and loving them as a friend.

Being around too many other people makes me feel almost claustrophobic, tense; at times I get the urge to break through the crowd of people, shoving them apart with my elbows without apologizing just to get away from them. In a sea of living, breathing people, talking and eating and laughing, there are so many gestures. Every second someone blinks or touches their mouth or brushes their hair back; the next second someone else is licking their lips, adjusting their shirt, swallowing. When I’m in a sea of people I fidget awkwardly; I don’t know what to do with my hands.

Where do hands go? Do I shove them in my pockets, cross my arms, put them on my hips, clasp them in front of me? What am I supposed to do with my hands? I don’t feel lonely by myself; I feel lonely with so many other people packed in tight like sardines around me. But sometimes I even feel like my hands are lonelier than the rest of me; they’re always trying to find something to hold onto, but they never quite can.

My father once told me You spend so much time upstairs that it’s like you’re barely even here. But spending time by myself is like a ritual, a slow dance in the middle of the kitchen at night when everyone else is in bed. Being alone is like peeling apart an orange and finding all the hidden layers inside it, or stargazing with the most expensive telescope in the world and even being able to catch a glimpse of Mars while I’m at it.

When I ascend those stairs to my room and shut the door, when I break through the crowd of people and escape into the hallway, when I leave a school program in the middle of the presentation, I feel like a huge weight has just been lifted off my chest. The clock’s hands unstick and time begins to move again. The world starts spinning once again on its axis, its edges caressing outer space like a lover. It’s as if the whole world had been holding its breath, and then, with an audible sigh of relief, all that pent-up breath is let out.

So whenever anyone asks me Why do you spend so much time alone? Don’t you get lonely? I want to tell them that the two are separate, pro and con, black and white, light and dark. I want to tell them that alone tastes so sweet it’s better than the last chocolate eclair.
It’s every single slice of banana cream pie left in the world. It’s every triple-layer wedding cake ever made, complete with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

It’s fucking gold.

Reblogged from tumblr []

Story of my life; all I want is to someday be able to write like her. Him. Them.


Mr Lonely said...

yeah! anti lonely!

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