Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Life Alone

A Life Alone

There’s a gentle breeze in the air. It rushes through the back window and I can hear the sound of bamboo wind chimes rattling a soft good morning.

The day promises to be sunny and probably hot. The sun has that look in its eye. Foreboding and promising stagnant air that will drip with humidity before day’s end.

Summer has arrived in the city, and I think of days on a crowded beach with my children so many years ago. I can almost hear the clamour of voices, the laughter, and the squeals on the crowded sand. The memory melts into the roar of traffic.

Somewhere, not too far off, a dog barks in a repeated litany of sorts. It sounds desperate to find its way back into some house where someone is getting ready for work. I’ve heard the same dog before. Everything has a repetition when you live alone.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. No one plans a life around empty rooms. It's just what seems to happen these days. Maybe it has something to do with our consumer-driven, throwaway consciousness in the 21st century. Who would have thought we would be thrown aside by those we once loved or be the ones throwing others out of our lives like old newspapers into a recycling bin? I'm not sure people can be recycled and then be expected to come back whole.

But they don't come back. Not usually.

Down the street, the school kids wait for their bus. They wear backpacks that always seem stuffed with mysterious possessions, only half of which has anything to do with their schoolwork. Mostly they carry a parcel of their lives hitched to their young shoulders. Many of them are from homes that have fallen apart long ago. Still, they pretend that everything is all right in the world. They have one another's company for now, and they carry on.

I don't mind the mornings so much. There’s ample activity in the world to keep me distracted. I plan my day. I listen to music. I write. I keep busy.

The nights are different. The darkness crowds me into a single place in all these rooms, a familiar spot on the sofa, where I sit and read or play guitar or do nothing at all. There, the vacancy of living alone envelopes me. I try so hard not to reflect on how it all came to this, this cluttered emptiness of my life, and yet there it is, spreading out from heartache like a fog. It’s not the loneliness that makes me sad.

Yes it is.



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