This is an interesting blogging prompt. When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely? Well, it’s interesting for me, at any rate. You see, I have this good old friend that visits me every night. I like to call him Insomnia (hence, my screen name.) Insomnia and I sit and talk every night, but it isn’t the same as when I sit and have a conversation with someone else. Heck, even folks I’m really not that fond of are more entertaining and sometimes preferable to this guy.
So, really, when was the last time I felt lonely? For me, the answer that comes to mind is: every night as I sit in the dark alone, bathed in the glow of the computer monitor. It’s just me in my chair, typing on a keyboard, clicking a mouse button and listening to the sounds of a quiet, dark house on a quiet and dark street in a quiet and dark neighborhood. Me. Alone. Seriously.
It’s a feeling I get. It starts in the pit of my stomach and moves out in a radial pattern that slowly consumes my entire body. My head is the last to be covered, and I go kind of numb and the silence grows even quieter than normal. Pin drops would be cymbals crashing. A sickening feeling in my gut, an emptiness in my heart, a numb, tingling feeling in the rest of my body. Even though I’m not physically alone. I’m just the only one awake.
Every night that I sit alone at my table, or watching television, or laying in bed reading, or even just laying there in the dark staring at the ceiling, I feel utterly alone. And the odd thing is, it isn’t like I crave social interactions. There are times when all I want is to be alone. I can not stand groups larger than two or three. I do not like listening to others chatter on about things I have no interest in – and sometimes, even the things I am interested in.
But I’m not really answering the question for this post, am I? My brain wants to answer it, but instead my fingertips are skirting around the issue, jumping around it and avoiding the meat of the matter. I’m not sure if I can say exactly WHEN I feel lonely, considering there are time when, even in company of others, I feel lonely. Confusing? Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, I can see where it might sound a little wonky. We’ve come this far, though, I might as well see what else I’ve got to meander on down the road with. You can come if you want to.
There are two other people in the house with me, both asleep and lost in their own dreams. Worn out from their daily activities from mid-afternoon to the wee hours of the morning. They move about and exist while I am away at work, earning my keep. When I return, it’s in the A.M. My dog – I love my dog – greets me at the fence. I’ll pat his head and scratch his back, behind the ears, give him a few comforting words assuring that his master hadn’t abandoned him. My dog, the only soul awake and excited to see me as I pull into the drive, walk into the house and plop myself down for several hours and share a soda with that other guy I mentioned. Insomnia.
I do sleep. If I’m lucky, I’ll get at least 5 hours a night/morning/day. Usually asleep by 5 if I can manage it, no later than 6. As soon as 10AM rolls around, though, I’m back up and at ’em. Life goes on, you know, and time waits for no man. Right now, as a matter of fact, my son is snoring softly from his bed. The Wife has drifted off on the couch while watching television. And I’m right here. We have to be up and off on a trip early this morning. I’ve already tried to lay down and get some rest, but it eludes me.
Maybe one day we will reach some kind of agreement. I can break off my relationship with You-Know-Who and all will be well with the world. Until then, I’m just an insomniac, alone in the dark and waiting for sleep to claim me for a few more hours of rest.