Dream about a boy who turned to stone: online loneliness

We go to our corners, the family. There’s the TV and the kitchen for the genders to split, devices for the teenagers to keep them docile, interested, present.

Life spins in a prism of thoughts and distractions, frames. Most you forget, aren’t worth saving, isn’t enough space. The repetition of role-playing at work, at home, tired performances repeating lines, gestures, dramatic displays. The sink, the closet, the coffee maker: Have a Nice Day, out the door.

Art’s got a way out of this, to make art out of work and life, to live with wonder despite the seeming toil of it, finding mystery in the banal, objects and people we pass unseen, holding them up at the right angle and saying, Here…look…art is falling in love with your world.

But we go to our corners because we need space and distance. Love is natural and real, but love is hard, and so are people.

Which is why I understand those who need to live alone, but I can’t help seeing the sadness that hangs on them still. When I lived alone, how I spent most of my time conspiring not to be. How I carved my days toward a time when I would be with someone, that’s who I was: the absence of someone else.

And now to have most everything anyone could want, probably more, and still feel a loneliness…we go to a corner to talk to someone, anyone, who might be out there somewhere, and all of us in the coffee shop are really alone right now, right next to each other, recording what’s happening here and transmitting it to the darkness of the infinite, the internet.

I’m here now because I want to be. And you’re here with me now, too.

Categories: music, technology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Provocative. I’ve been think a lot about this myself, especially within the past few days. I find myself wanting to be isolated, and yet, when I am, the feeling of loneliness is overwhelming at times. Are we naturally this contrary?


    • I think we are naturally that contrary–I know I am, at least! It’s a topic that interests me, the conflict between wanting to be independent and needing companionship…and then the cultural shift of who we interact with, and how, via technology. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Glynis. I love your name by the way!


  2. I love living alone. When I finally got divorced, it was the most transcendental experience to find myself in a place with silence as background noise. Some of us are meant to live alone. It doesn’t make us sad at all. I rarely experienced loneliness at all. Now that my elderly mom is living with me, I continue to work at trying to adapt with having another person in the house. It’s not always easy.


    • I loved living alone too, but I did spend a lot of that time conspiring for a companion. I’m glad you are happy on your own, and with your mom! I’m sure she likes your company too. Enjoy your day! – Bill


  3. Alone is easy. Reaching across the webbernet is the next easiest.


  4. Anyone else catch the line from “I know it’s over?”


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