Solitude’s a Lady, Loneliness a Bitch

“You should get out and meet people,” they tell me, like they’re urging chemo. “It’s easy,” they say, “and besides, What Do You Have To Lose?”

Like most social advice, this is intuitive, reasonable, and bullshit.

They assume I have nothing to lose because, to their extroverted eyes, a lonester like myself has nothing worthwhile at all.

They don’t know recognize the value of what I have. I have Solitude, and Solitude is a lady of the highest quality.

You don’t see her? That’s all right. Not all invisible friends are imaginary.

When she walks through the house, she is quiet and elegant, her subtle scent the only indication she’s around.

She listens to my unusual music choices without complaint, giving every artist its fair due without judging. Sometimes she hums along.

Solitude doesn’t complain when I ruin a meal–she always knows just how to salvage the leftovers.

When we watch a movie, my lady and I, she keeps a respectful silence for the duration of the film, waiting until the credits have rolled to spark insightful discussion and commentary.

Some nights we don’t even talk. I sit on the couch, lost in a good book, and she sits quietly beside me, head on my shoulder, reading along.

I don’t know what I did to deserve her.

When I go out into the cold, dark world to try to make friends, sometimes Solitude waits at home for me. But sometimes when I come back, she’s not there.

Sometimes I find Loneliness waiting for me instead.

Where Solitude is a lady of refinement, Loneliness is a foul bitch.

She slams the door as she enters the house and her angry stamps are a constant reminder of her presence.

Loneliness shouts at me to turn my goddamn music off, and asks why I even listen to that shit.

She throws my attempts at cooking in my face, no matter how much care I take in their preparation.

Loneliness talks through movies, mocking the characters’ emotions, picking at plotholes like scabs, predicting the ending and cackling when she’s right.

We never have any quiet nights. Her fingernails dig into my skin as she whines that I never take her anywhere, that her mother was right about me, what am I even doing with my life, and why doesn’t anyone come over to see us anymore?

After Loneliness leaves, Solitude comes back, but I see in her eyes the pain of my betrayal, and things are never the same.

Friends are wonderful things, I have no doubt, but don’t tell me I have nothing to lose by seeking them out. My Solitude’s a lady, and I won’t tolerate your disrespect.

And Solitude, if you’re out there…

I’m sorry.

Please come back.

Without you, I truly am


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22 Responses to Solitude’s a Lady, Loneliness a Bitch

  1. prosaoratio says:

    Reblogged this on prosaoratio and commented:
    Solitudes vs Loneliness. God this was a good piece. Dammit

  2. prosaoratio says:

    Oh fuck this was so well written. FOLLOWING.

  3. Pingback: The Face of Loneliness, Animatronic Ass-Bots, and The Tallest Rhinoceri You Could Ever Want | Mindless Productivity

  4. godtisx says:

    I love this, wow. Love what you penned about ‘solitude,’ it’s so true (and those who don’t court her don’t know what they’re missing).

  5. Aphrodite says:

    Reblogged this on Writings from a woman of pleasure and commented:
    Beautiful writing about a topic I recognize very well…

  6. marmad says:

    Brilliant! I thought I was alone in this 🙂

  7. I was inspired to click through to you after reading how Cristian Mihai inspires you to write well and found your latest entry here. I really enjoyed and related to this piece, Nathan. Today I reveled in having the house to myself for the first time in a while. :)) Ah, the endless possibilities of a new page and peace and quiet!

  8. clairedraper says:

    Reblogged this on Me. For Your Consideration. and commented:
    So perfectly honest and true. Loneliness is a bitch no one wants around, but Solitude I love. I crave Solitude more than I care to confess. Living in New York City has it’s benefits, but such a jam packed city invites Loneliness in, locking Solitude out.

  9. dabink1988 says:

    Been there. Not there any longer, as the bill for your tux rental should attest, but I have most certainly been there…..

  10. Excellent post! I too live with Solitude, and she is lovely to have around. When Loneliness wants to come in, I just hope the deadbolts are engaged and try to leave her outside. She’s a nasty piece of work…

  11. I know the feeling. Solitude can be a wonderful thing, and my family doesn’t understand that sometimes. That’s probably why they’ve dubbed my room “The Cave.” Not many people get it that I would just rather be alone. Free to read and write in silence. Whatever anyone says, you don’t have to “come out of your shell.” By the way, you say you have odd music choices. What’s your favorite band?

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