So, I’m thinking about being alone. No, no, it’s nothing like that – it’s not like have someone, and I want some “alone-time”. I’m thinking about my “singleness”, the solitude that has defined and consumed the majority of my short thirty-eight years on the planet. Being alone is a choice, I suppose, as I chose to not date from some years in my late twenties, due, in part, to a failed romance with a woman I know was (is?) the love of my life (she knows who she is; she is one of my best friends). Subsequent years yielded many dates and few fruitful relationships. Of course, I dated like a fiend in college and in my early twenties – some would say that my current dry spell is karmic retribution for that crazy time. Suffice to say, now, at thirty-eight, I have no significant (or insignificant, for that matter) other, and no prospects for that coveted position. Not really sure what that is, it just is what it is. Everyone says, “It will happen when you least expect it.” Well guess what, I don’t expect anything, and I still don’t believe that anything will happen. But, that’s not the point of this piece. Lately, I have been thinking about that fact that I will probably be single for the rest of my natural life. And, astonishingly, I am okay with this. It has become a truth to me. I am fairly certain that I am destined to be alone until my Maker comes for me. And, you know, I am not sad about it at all. I used to anguish over certain break-ups when I was younger. And, when I didn’t get to marry the woman I wanted to be my bride, I shuttered myself from the female population for three years. Now, I find myself with plenty of quality time, and a sizable surplus of quality time (anyone want to buy some quality time?). Consequently, my mind goes to work, and work, and work, and work. Random, pointless thoughts. Deep, philosophical, one-sided arguments. Questions. Answers. Recipes. Lists. Wants. Needs. Desires. Dreams (really, the only time that I do this regularly….I rarely dream when I am asleep). And, then, the inevitable – girls. Sure, I think about them, but I can’t date thoughts now, can I? So, I think about being alone, alone-ness, being one, isolation, meals for one, who my emergency contact will be, to whom do I will my stuff, if my nephew will think I am a big nerd from not having a girlfriend/wife, what my nephew will think that he has no cousins, buying a single towel or the pair, wondering why food can’t be packaged in less than family size, what to claim on my W-4, getting help for projects around the house . . . these are some of the things I think about when I think about being alone. Alone is a double-edged sword. It’s nice to be able to have the freedom to do the things you want without hindrance or objection. At the same time, those occurrences when you need to have someone around (i.e., dates for weddings or other events, tasks requiring more than a pair of hands) requires more than some planning and a fair amount of consideration. Alone is expensive. I can’t explain why, it just is. Alone is challenging. You can’t just play a board game by yourself, and that also prohibits playing tennis or ping-pong (at least you can golf alone). Discussions with yourself when you are alone make you look like you are talking to yourself, which, essentially, you are, and also make you appear loony. But, if no one is around, how can you “appear” loony if no one is around to witness your lunacy? Most recipes have to be cut in half; more often than not you are eating leftovers for a while because you prepared a full recipe. Intimacy becomes quite the paradox, but, we will save that topic for a future entry.
Funny thing is, in spite of all of this, I find solace in my solitude. I’m not writing this for sympathy; I just want to let everyone know that I’m okay being alone. And, I will continue to purchase two tickets for the annual Illini Fall Football get together with my friends, just in case.