This is not easy to say. You will jump to conclusions. You will think that I am socially inept, or difficult, or weird, or boring. How uncool I must be. A loser, a failure, flawed. In the 21st century, it’s okay to admit to having a mental illness, but admit to being lonely and watch people back away. The stigma is immense.
Herbert Bowers has been homeless and transient, he lives in public housing, he is largely estranged from his family, he is asthmatic, a diabetic, and has bipolar disorder. But what are my excuses? I have been transient, too – I’ve lived in six cities, two overseas, and the one I now call home is not where I grew up, went to school or studied.
Circumstance has also played its part. Forty-something, I find, against hope and expectation, that I’m a lone ranger, child-free and, for now, partnerless. The roaming packs of merry, unattached 20-somethings and 30-somethings that were my lot in other cities are packed away in photo albums. The roaming packs of my generation in this city gather at kids’ sports or droop over their homework.
And so here we are, Herbert and I and countless others, confronting “the sad, helpless, monotony of the self”, “the locked room” of oneself, as Irish writer Colm Tóibín described the loneliness of his protagonist in The Master. The substantial connection, the nourishing meeting of minds, the intimate, quiet and calm moments of understanding – well, they are rare jewels, to be marvelled at and longed for.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/all-the-lonely-people-20130826-2skkz.html#ixzz2e1Smbe6I