It is 1:35 a.m., and here I am, wide awake. Attila has been working long, long hours for the last few weeks. He leaves before 6:00 a.m. and arrives home after 6:00 p.m. When he arrives home he is exhausted, and “peopled out”, after having dealt with other people, and the demands of careful, cheerful communication, all day long.
We eat, we chat for about a half an hour, Attila has a hot bath, we watch a program on Netflix for about a half hour, and then Attila begins to nod off. So off to bed he goes for his well earned rest.
And me? I am not peopled out, having had no contact with a live human between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. I have occupied my time wisely for those twelve hours, and enjoy the brief contact with Attila.
From time to time though, the alone part of my life becomes overwhelming. Tonight is one of those times, a time when too-much-alone follows me like a shadow.
When I lived in the city the too-much-alone could be alleviated by walk-abouts. I would walk, for miles and miles and miles, observing people, occasionally speaking with a friendly soul along the way. I was a part of the crowd, a piece of the human mosaic, without having to fit in, wear the right uniform of clothing, speak the correct words, wear the correct smile, compete for attention, elbow my way to the front of things. I could belong because I was there, like a star in the night sky, a grain of sand on a sunny beach, a stalk of grass in a windy wave… And that was always enough for me, that kind of belonging. It seemed to be enough for the people with whom I shared the experience.
That feeling of connection with humanity has all but ceased to exist in my day-to-day life. Where we live the tribal mores and pretenses of the affluent are very strong; there are no organic human spaces, there is no live and let live energy, no human mosaic, no tolerance, no spark of recognition, no joy in diversity… no society of the genuine.
I miss the face-to-face in my day-to-day.
I guess I am still awake because a part of me is not yet willing to give up the day-to-day, without a little more seeking of the face-to-face.
And since there is no available face-to-face in my world at the moment, it seems I will be awake until exhaustion ends the search.
Date: 1:35 AM EDT Thursday 12 June 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SE 17 km/h
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
1844 – 1900