Monday, September 19, 2005

Every Number Is The Loneliest Number

Loneliness is a funny thing. Not in the "har-dee-har-har" type of way, obviously. But in a grander sense, loneliness is not defined by who you're with or who you're not with; it's an inner state that sometimes dwells dormant and other times explodes, or simmers, corroding from within, and sometimes even seems one of the more self-indulgent of emotional states. Who are we to feel lonely? We can seek out the company of others. We can momentarily drown out the refrains of "I'mlonelyI'mlonelyI'mlonely" with loud music or distracting movies or sorting socks in drawers or fiddling with digital photos and blog templates. You can feel lonely in a room full of people. You can feel lonely and alone inside your head. You can feel lonely in a point of view, or political opinion, or on the highways and freeways even as cars or thoughts speed by. You can feel lonely in the contemplation of a strong, or suffering, spiritual state. You can feel lonely in the excruciating moment you realize a hoped-for romance has turned platonic. You can feel lonely as you notice love or beauty in others and know that you have no part in it. You can feel lonely because you yourself are sad, or dissatisfied, or bored, or frustrated. You can feel lonely when you're the only one who understands the situation fully. You can feel lonely when you know friends are keeping things from you, even if their intentions are good. You can feel lonely at your own birthday party. You can feel lonely on a beach, or driving through a canyon, or watching a sunset. You can feel lonely knowing that there's a joke or reference you're not a part of; and even if you have it explained to you by insiders, you still don't find it funny, and knowing it doesn't make you one of them. It never will. And that's lonely.


melinama said...

Right you are. The loneliest I ever felt was in my marriage. Even though things can look worse now that I'm single, I know that they feel better, loneliness is worse when you feel it in the presence of others.

Simcha said...

If I may say, that was very beautiful and moving and well written. I was beginning to think the only thing in life I couldn't scoff at was the sound of the shofar.

You know you're lonely when:

1. You're surfing the net and a pornographic pop-up comes on. Even though you would never want to actually do what it's doing, still it's been so long that you wonder how it feels.

2. You visit the home of retired friends or relatives, people who spend all day watching the Weather Channel and discussing what time would be best to take out the garbage. And you envy them.

3. You're thinking of getting a cat.

4. Artificial insemination and adoption are beginning to seem like viable alternatives. Is there any way a guy can father a halachically Jewish kid by artificial insemination and then keep it? Just curious.

5. You're thinking of PAYING a shadchan.


sjpboca said...

I think loneliness is just as bad being single (and alone) as in the presence of others. How do you deal with it?