It is 9am, and I am alone. I am sitting in a hostel in Montenegro looking out over the city of Ulcinj and drinking coffee alone. I am eating an apple pastry and yogurt alone. For the past half hour I have been reading poetry and listening to music while enjoying said breakfast, again, alone.
This world is biased against the very idea of aloneness when confronted with it in lengths of time larger or different than societal expectations for spending time alone. College culture in the US is based around spending every moment of documentable time with friends, or at least others.
Time spend alone, people with less traditional friend relationships, and living without a defined “squad” are all invalidated and looked down upon. I myself feel consistently invalidated by those at home. How many times do I have to shout that I am the happiest and most fulfilled I have every been and that my life is as complete and rich (if not so much more) than those living traditional lives? I have a feeling I’ll be shouting for the rest of my life.
Here is one of my favorite poems.
by Adrienne Rick
You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.
You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely
If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawns’ first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep
If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning