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On loneliness

I think the reason I've lived alone for so long is because of the inherent safety of loneliness. I know the 786 square feet of my apartment like the back of my hand. I know my smells (like the hazy scent of my patchouli incense), my sounds (like my cat yelling at me to feed him at six in the morning), and my textures (like the comforting feel of a fuzzy blanket wrapping me in its warmth and shielding me from the outside world). I also know my pain. The way it starts out as a dull ache in the back of my psyche, something so intangible it becomes almost ephemeral; as if I had made it up just to feel something. The ache then turns into lethargy, which in turn makes room for insomnia, and at last anxiety joins the duo in an unrelenting plight of keeping me as far out of my body as possible. I am very used to that feeling - being locked out of your own body - in scholarly circles they refer to it as "dissociation." I've come to know it as a feeling that alienates me from anything alive and worthy. If one is worthy and has never experienced such a divisive feeling, then the one who does must be unworthy to boot.

It's hard letting people into this personal space, where elusiveness meets loneliness. Over the years it has become a temple for my most brooding thoughts, welcoming my resounding prayers of melancholy. It's like an armor you don't have to wear that protects you from the outside world. For if said outside world steps into your temple it will surely break you in two while trying to force an alliance.

Isn't it odd, how comforting it is to know that no-one can hear you cry when there's only a blurry reflection of yourself staring back into empty space? I wouldn't consider myself a recluse, but I find comfort in knowing that I am the gatekeeper of all of my most "foolish" moments. And please don't get me wrong - there is definitely joy too. That is one aspect of loneliness I have found hard to fully embrace on my own. I guess happiness is multiplied when it's shared. I heard the opposite perspective applies to grief - it tends to diminish with a comforting touch. But I have not found that to be true in my past experience. So, no matter how much I may want to yield some of my glee onto others, I must be prepared to share some of the darkness too - it's a two for one deal.

I've done it before too. I'm not preaching all of this from my isolated tower of doom; I've let down my braid to a passerby or two over the past 10 or so years since I left my parents' nest. And sure, some passerby's were not all bad; some even intended to be invited deep into the crevices of my heart. But unfortunately, as is often the case in nature, those who make the biggest imprint leave theirs with a branding iron. The one sweeping romantic I chose to let in on my foolishness ended up deeming it odd to say the least. My fears were rendered senseless and my inability to adapt to this outside world we keep bringing up was gauche. All it takes is one cast of the flaming ore to label you as "other" to remind you that you did, all along, belong in that tower of solitude; far enough to observe that which others don't see up close, but not close enough to actually feel its vibrancy.

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