Loneliness. It's true that there is no rational reason for it to exist, but yet, there it remains - still a massive figure in the human psyche. It exists because the world is not rational. At least, it's not from a human perspective, but perhaps from a grander view, loneliness is a sad but hopeful concept that exists to show that humans are still capable of love.
Mulling over this, I sit indian-style in a rocking chair (my personal choice of office chairs). I haven't seen my friends in a few days. I'm procrastinating on yet another attempt to write a scholarship essay (I haven't won one yet) on a Saturday night. I'm staring at the computer monitor all glassy-eyed and confused.
Yet, I am not lonely. Not now.
Feeling lonely does not necessarily mean one has to be physically alone, although it can to a certain degree. It's just that no one else seems to understand. No one seems to care. No one seems to know. No one seems to cherish what you do.
As a child, I was often let alone in the house. The buzzing quiet of the air seemed as loud as a fire drill. I thus plunged into an imaginary world I built in the books I read. I wasn't lonely.
But when I am lonely, I always feel self-indulgent knowing that logically, there is always some one to talk to. I look at the phone and realize that I can press those plastic numbers with my fingers to make a human voice blare into my ear, but I can't. I just can't.
When I was struck with a two-year bout of unrequited love, I could never tell anybody about it. I knew my best friend would understand and empathize, but I felt too stupid. I felt like a sad, ugly teenager in frumpy clothing who was much too silly and obsessive for anyone to care.
That's the problem with loneliness. It makes you feel vulnerable. It makes you feel like other people shouldn't have to bother with your petty problems. It makes you feel too insignificant for words or for action. It lingers in you, recalling all those other times of emotional solitude.
Some choose a nice case of beer to assist with such a problem. Some choose to immerse themselves in their academia. I usually end up in my bed, with Yo La Tengo's "Stockholm Syndrome" on repeat, feeling either numb or crying. If and when pain comes, I relish it. It makes me feel like I am a human afterall - not this pile of useless bones that everyone seems to ignore.
But there's a silver lining to all this. I am sad that they were deeply disturbed with pain, but books such as Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude are deeply seeded with the pain of loneliness. In music, there are Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, and the Smiths. The list goes and on. Loneliness can be a form of inspiration, conducing a swirl of beauty to appear.