Am I Lonesome Tonight?
Of all the disheartening possibilities in life, loneliness is not the worst; many people suffer far more debilitating lifestyles than spending time by themselves. However, acknowledging that illness or death in the family can be infinitely worse, does not remove the fact that for me, living by myself is by far the most unpleasant existence I have ever encountered.
The single time I have embarked on this course of action in my lifetime,was a four-week period back in 1979, when I took a living situation in an apartment in Milpitas, a small city down in the Bay Area. My first marriage had come shockingly to an end, and I was uninterested in pursuing any kind of romantic connection. I was distantly acquainted with an member of the firm that employed me, and learned that she was interested in a roommate, to help defray the cost of an apartment.
I only saw her once during that period, because she spent all of her time with her boyfriend. The only clear memory of that month was the World Series between the victorious Pirates (“We Are Family”) and the Orioles. The rest of the time I was mired in my own misery.
Why that would be the case, I do not know. My two closest younger siblings both profess to revel in the feeling of solitude, finding that the time spent alone, allows for the creative juices to flow abundantly. We all originated in a household that eventually contained eleven of us, nine kids and the parents. Chaos reigned and harmony ensued.
That would certainly explain my siblings’ desire for solitude, but also accounts for my own reticence when it comes to being by my lonesome. I hate the sound of silence, even if our English bulldog’s resounding snoring resonates in the immediacy of my bed. It’s just not the same.
Companionship is what I seek and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am a social creature and crave an environment which includes others. Maybe social is misleading, because I am not particularly interested in going out, and pursuing the nightlife; I just mean that having people around makes the world proceed less chaotically for me. Not even the pleasures of intimacy attract me as much as knowing that someone will be there at dinnertime, to share a meal. I make a mean chicken cacciatore.
I must tread cautiously at this juncture in time, because I do not want to incur the wrath of my sweetest of Apple Blossoms, who has taken a course of action that does not include me. I can only imagine what being diagnosed with cancer must be like, and then having surgery to remove a kidney. The fact that Annie has chosen to relocate to Willits, an hour south of here, so as to be able to have more access to her doctors, really has nothing to do with me.
I can only sit back and accept her decision. Well, that’s not completely true; I could alter my lifestyle and join the social set, and move on. Obviously, that is not my intent. So I will be lonesome tonight.