Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Greta Garbo never said she wanted to be alone. The actress who quit at the top of her game said she wanted to be left alone, and that, she insisted, was something entirely different.

Not to me. Not right now. I am alone and left alone tonight, and the rest of humanity feels a galaxy away.

My mother was right: being lonely is a peculiar and terrible hell. I made this hell, however, so I have no choice but to accept it and its consequences. Like a poker player with an ego bigger than his common sense, I shut my eyes and ears, went all-in on the bet of a lifetime, and lost. I then shut myself off from friends old and dear; I banished the familiar faces from my life and took a defiantly standoffish stance.

I cannot expect any other outcome than being alone and left alone.

I write about it tonight as a way to purge the awful, the same way you give ipecac to someone to make them vomit. Maybe then the sickness will leave my soul's gut and I'll be able to shuffle forward. But that's only a maybe, and that's being brutally honest.

Doc asked me tonight, "Do you get pleasure out of anything?" And the answer is no. I don't. I work, I eat, I sleep. I do a decent job of pretending when I'm around other humans, but when it's just me I take off the mask and look in the mirror and see the real me: the shadow that exists in the space once occupied by Ron.

It is affecting every part of my life. People who've known me for years say I sound mean. Funny, my big ears hear a quiet voice, but I guess I'm missing the bitter undertone. I'm sure it's there, a note accompanied by a low, broken rumble.

I whine: I want a choice. Idiot. I had a choice. I chose to do things that led me to this spot in the woods. Given a do-over, I'd like to say I would do something different. I'd like to say that. But I don't know if I would. Even now, knowing everything that has happened, I don't know what my answer would be. That, more than anything, tells me how far removed I am from the rest of humanity.

No matter how I act in public — no matter how animated and with-it and affable I seem to be — this is reality. I am alone and left alone. I try to say the sentence aloud and I can't finish it without breaking down. I can't answer the phone right now because I can't even begin to fake it. That whole "fake-it-till-you-make-it" mindset? Bullshit. I call bullshit. I've faked being nonchalant and faked being above it all. I'm not.

Yeah yeah, it'll get better. Of course it will. Depression isn't an unyielding bank of black clouds. Sooner or later the pitch-black air is bound to brighten. It has to.

I once told a friend, in what now seems like another lifetime: A lack of darkness is almost as good as sunshine. That friend took the advice to heart with such vigor, they wrote it down and kept it under glass on their desk. Only later did I find the piece of paper in the trash.

That's probably where it belonged in the first place. I can't subscribe to that philosophy. Not today, not tomorrow. A lack of darkness would still mean no sunshine.

I'm done whining. I'm done, period. Typing this has not changed a thing. Wishing and hoping and doing my version of praying has not changed a thing. I am alone and left alone. At least Garbo had people who wanted her in their orbit.

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