A curiously widespread phenomenon, considering what the word technically means. Or maybe it isn't technical, but what immediately comes to my mind when I hear the word is the feeling that most people share something that you don't.
I've been excruciatingly lonely for the last 6 or so years, ever since essentially deciding upon it as a sort of buffer against life. This loneliness had continued pretty much unabated and independent of the number of people, interactions and even full-on conversations I'd found myself around and in. I made a pact with myself fairly recently, to keep this fact in mind and stop freaking out every time my immediate loneliness is somehow more palpably demonstrated to me - I'm lonely, and have been for a long time, but apparently I can take it, and in any case I have discovered that there are no immediate measures I can take in order to remedy it.
And this pact worked, most of the time. I don't know that I'm rethinking it right now, but the fact is I am freaking out, and I suppose the least I can do is try to figure out why and what more precisely about.
I'm wondering, for one thing, whether my loneliness truly is of the same kind universally recognized and lamented. I mean to begin with, most people probably wouldn't describe their loneliness as excruciating, but that doesn't necessarily indicate anything beyond my occasionally somewhat melodramatic disposition. On the other hand, the "universally" lonely seem to get a little frantic whenever it gets quiet enough for them to hear their own loneliness, whereas with me it is almost never the quiet that does it - it's usually seeing other people seeming to share something which I do not have, which brings us back to where we started.
Okay. It's specifically this: Other people talk about that which is on their minds. I don't think it's contingent on their company being interested or even listening; it's how people can find other people boring. I can't know, but I'd hazard a guess that the only people who've found me boring have been those convinced I couldn't actually speak - and not because my conversation when it did happen was transcendentally scintillating - but because I'd never told anybody anything I wasn't quite comprehensively certain they wanted to hear.
I seem to have been asked quite a lot recently "what have you been doing lately?" - responding with "well, not much," when what I really meant was "not much that I expect you to understand or relate to," which is a rather pompous and unfair attitude to take towards people genuinely trying to be friendly.
I haven't been doing much recently, but a lot has been on my mind. I've been moving away from a religion I've followed with a consistently high level of ardour for 20 years; I've been moving so far left in my politics I'm no longer completely clear about this country's right to exist; I've been obsessing over Taoist spiritual ideas with an enthusiasm that continues to surprise me; I'm grappling painfully (and really for the first time) with notions of adulthood and responsibility and accountability (and functioning); I continue to be deeply concerned about the games I play with people instead of communicating with them; and all the while I froth over stupid stuff like movies and words (I've recently come to the conclusion that my fascination with the latter is more linguistic than literary).
There's been a bit of an influx of these recently - of the overwhelming, distressing stuff I mean - and I think what bothers me is that I don't even feel the urge to discuss this, or raise it, with anyone. I don't even feel the urge to bring it here; this was a dry, rational decision. I feel the lack but I don't feel the impulse to fix it. That's just bloody weird. I think it means I don't listen to myself enough.
This is where writing this blog approaches coming in useful. I assume there's an audience here and yet I don't make the slightest effort to be remotely understandable. My real life should be a little more like that. I guess my message to myself is to not be afraid of boring people and for fuck's sake not to try and be comprehensible. Because you guys are my oyster. You are my fucking oyster.