The following was written in the days after my release from a 51/50 stay at our local hospital. If you are sensitive to such things (and many are) or know me personally, I would warn you against reading this collection, for it is quite dark. This is because it was written when I was suspended in a darkened place. Sometimes I still am. It is included here because it serves as a reminder for me of where I am now, compared to where I was.
Tonight, I am alone.
Earlier this morning I had a visit from a friend. We talked of things that made us laugh until we cried. We wrote until our hands cramped and sought refuge in the shifting conversations of our lives. We danced around dangerous topics, played with philosophical queries as if toys, stretched our imaginations until they couldn’t possibly bend back.
And yet, I am alone.
I spent time with friends tonight immersing ourselves in fantastical adventure. We waged war against evil, supported one another through trials and tribulations, laughed until we cried, and then made our way away into the night as if none of it had ever happened, because none of it did happen. Alas, I will see them soon, and we will once more try to convince ourselves it did. Yes, I will see them soon.
But for tonight, I am alone.
I drive home and watch the night blur along with my memories. I feel my crooked grin, leftover from the day’s previous adventures, fall: settle itself upon the ground as if a leaf falling from an immense height. And it hits me:
I am alone.
I am so very alone. The smile now frowns and my hands holding the wheel tighten taut. I gaze into the rear view mirror—nothing, no one. The night’s streets are empty. All is quiet. My long day’s journey done.
I am alone.
I think of a time not so long ago when I wasn’t—was it a dream? Momentous doubt looms as I struggle to remember how I arrived here, how I came to be so alone.
I get home to my sleeping dad; I pat his shoulder as I head to my bedroom door. Beneath it a golden light passes. The door creaks its squeak open; my dog inside awaits me. I give him pets and kisses, talk to him and tell him I missed him, that I love him. I feel the grin that’s snuck up begin to slide, and so too do I into bed.
And it hits me once more.
As my consciousness falls, so too does my grin, and joining them both, my defenses. And it hits me again: I am alone. It’s settled now. I am alone. I am alone, and I am afraid of being so.
But I am alone. I am alone. I am.