Sunday, April 25, 2010

word? word. (loneliness)


Princeton's Academic Site refers to loneliness as: the state of being alone in solitary isolation

However, Wikipedia, the site professors and instructors tell us NOT to use, says it is: a feeling where people experience a powerful surge of emptiness and solitude

In this case, Wikipedia is right.

We all reach this place in our lives. Sometimes it is at a point where we feel left behind. Other times it’s because no one is progressing with you. In the movie "Notes on a Scandal", the narrator Barbara states:

1) People like Sheba think they know what it is to be lonely. But of the drip, drip of the long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. What it's like to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the launderette. 2) Or to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin.

Of course I can relate more to the first part, than the second (LOL). Sex, men, and the idiosyncrasies of love seem to fascinate me less lately. (That’s another entry.) However, the first part of Barbara's statement struck a chord within me. I am lonely. I am surely in no isolated place as Princeton's definition seems to suggest. I have tons of friends and yet I feel that powerful surge of emptiness and solitude EVERYDAY. My friends ridicule me for not wanting to run to the club once the weekend beckons. They are mad because I refuse to indulge in the bittersweet hangovers of the next morning and the regrets of the evening before. On Friday or Saturday nights, If I’m not on a stage or back home, I’m immersed in the umpteenth chapter of someone’s epic tale. The “friends” say, “You’re only 22! You’re supposed to be out having fun.” Is my solitude NOT fun? Is the peace within your own walls not excitement? (Hell no, it’s not.)

My definition of fun is drinking caffeinated beverages at a Starbucks in Barnes and Noble discussing a novel with a book club. Sometimes it’s an open mic on cloud nine. It’s a concert with a conscious emcee and a crowd embedded with individuality. Perhaps it is a jazz club in the middle of Soho with folks twice my age. Who will go with me? Not the friend who loathes reading anything unless it’s required by school. Not the one who falls asleep at every open mic we’ve been to. Not the one who’s iPod is reflective of an HBCU’s theme music. And most certainly not the one who is only enticed to the occasion if uppers and downers are present. It’s within these notions that the surge of emptiness and solitude come to bay. When you are wise beyond your years and refuse to settle for anything less, who will you have to lean on? The guilty and ashamed do not offer shoulders; nonetheless a helping hand.

I transition back to NYC permanently in the next few weeks. I’m excited and intimidated all at the same time. I wonder if upon meeting new brown and peach faces my loneliness will fade. I wonder if they will progress with me. I am curious to know if there is a quiet nook waiting in a new-favorite old used bookstore. I wonder….

If that old tenor sax still waits for me in my basement….

If I’ll ever fall in love again….

If the Brooklyn promenade is still a great place to write….

If someone who loves journals, stationery, and the smell of coffee will occupy the always-empty space beside me on my favorite bench….

I wonder if I’ll lean over the railing and gaze deep into the water like a lovers-eyes and watch that feeling cascade from my heart and sink into the abyss….never surfacing.

1 comment:

Lyrik Marie said...

Yes u will .. I can gaurentee that .. U know why ?? Cause Imma be in Brooklyn when u come back home .. Dont worry Riv . Love can wait .. Having fun is for the now .. And falling in love is for the later .. So much to explore in the world we live in .. So much more to explore within ourselves .. Lets do it !!!!!