“Ah, the joys of solitude…” And the pain.
I wince at the mental addition and look around my empty apartment, trying to convince that I’m really happy being alone. Being alone in apartment is one thing. Being alone in life is another. I ignore it as I put on a fake smile for my own sake and start to relax from the tiring job of the day.
The silence of the place is deafening though.
I begin to hum a tune to somehow counter the silence but even I can realize how pathetic I look. This is one of those times when you can curse your younger self for closing off to people and never forming lasting relationships. I ignore my mental critic’s advice and go on about the relaxation.
“This is why living alone is worth it.” I mutter to myself as I strip naked in the hall and walk directly for a shower. There’s no need for modesty when you’re by yourself, I reason. It’s a long and cold shower to relax the knotted muscles and once again, I don’t bother with clothes. “Why be a prude when the only person in the place is you?” Still the logical part of me refuses to be so shameless and arrogant that I forgo even basic human decency and so I slip on underpants before heading to the kitchen with the towel wrapped around me.
Cooking has been a favorite pastime of mine and as I lose myself in preparing a dinner for the night, I finally stop pretending and actually enjoy the solitude. But at the same time, I have to admit to my continuously nagging mind that yes, I do miss having some company in life. “But who do I approach?” I ask out loud while frying boiled eggs. “The people in office are busy in their own lives and it is not like I can just randomly approach a stranger and offer friendship. They’ll have me locked up in no time!”
The dinner, as usual, is a solitary affair and I feel self-conscious of every single movement. By the time the dinner is finished, I am so fed up with the silence that I immediately put on some music. ‘Carnival of Rust’ rises out from the speakers and I sing along as I clean up after myself. The music chases away the silence long enough for me to take care of the pending chores and I finally turn the place silent once more when it is almost time for bed.
Switching off my gadgets, I pick up the book I had recently been reading and continue from where I left off. I smile at the action of picking up the book as memories of the past arrive. The books had always been special friends to me and I returned to them daily. For these few hours that I would be lost in them, they gave everything I ever needed without asking much in return.
I barely make a dent in the tomes I am presently reading when sleepiness finally makes it presence known. The cooler weather probably doesn’t help either as I put the book down and turn the lights out. But as soon as the lights go out, I am once again surrounded by my loneliness and feel as if my abode has become a prison.
“When tomorrow comes,” I speak to myself in a promise as an attempt to loosen the tug of this loneliness on my throat. “When tomorrow comes, I will look out for a new friend.”
A thought then arises of inviting the neighbours over for dinner and I smile. “Yes, that would be perfect. Only the initial talk would be slightly uncomfortable since I haven’t really talked to anyone so far.”
“And that would be what I do when tomorrow comes.” And with those words, I feel the noose loosen up a little.