Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Loneliness

The speed at which loneliness strikes is astonishing.

Nothing has changed. Not the story I'm currently on in the book I'm reading. Not the wine I'm sipping. Not the music in my ears (Madhushaala is a long track). Not my view. Not the sun. Not the circumstances of life (he is still married, he is still probably headed quickly for marriage, he still hasn't replied to my email, he still hasn't messaged despite being awake for many hours). Nor, saliently, my sitting alone with book, wine, headphones, music, the view, the sun, the circumstances of life, and my solitude.

But in one quick motion, loneliness pounces out of solitude and I am struck to the ground with this predator staring into my eyes. My first reaction is to wait until I am swallowed up; then I realize it isn't that kind of predator. It doesn't constrict or rip or suck the life out of you. It just stares you down, with some proximity-induced paralyzing venom, so you can do nothing but stare back. You can feel the life force drain from you but you haven't the merest inkling where it's going.

Perhaps it's the wine. There's some magical threshold of activation energy reached by one blessed catalytic sip of wine. And then it's all in motion, and before you know it, it's all over, and you're supine, transfixed by the eyes of loneliness.

Perhaps not. Perhaps in some sort of Stockholm Syndrome, I am now lulled into making excuses for my captor.

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