Nothing: Part 27

A thought about loneliness crossed my mind in the last instant: loneliness is not debilitating.  One need not weave any lacy ornamentation around the state of being lonely.  It can’t be painted red, blue or black and it looks just the same to the people who happen to glance at you, it doesn’t change your shape or size or smell.  It is what it is, just something to feel in a given twenty-four hour period and then get past it to feel something else. 

Why write about it then? Well, because this idea is sort of an epiphany.  In earlier years, the years when he used to leave on Sunday mornings after deliberately hitting “Play” on the track that bore the Lynrd Skynrd song “Freebird“, it might have led to cascading misery; to a downward spiral of thoughts that resembled constant internal whining and external manifestations of gloom along the lines of “why me”.  But now the “why not me” thought easily cancels out the “why me” thought and we are back to balanced nothingness.

It is a floating nothingness with no moorings, one that allows an astral viewing of time folding in on itself, of things happening, often monotonous and repetitive but with the occasional burst of tantalizing color that fades almost as swiftly as it appeared. 

The red tail lights, the gray office walls flushed with fluorescent lighting, the endless arithmetic manipulation of numbers in 17,179,869,184 cells in a spreadsheet are just the parched landscape in my bird’s eye view; a desert where a sudden burst of color works its own unique magic.  Sometimes this color comes in the form of a tiny, neon green bird that pecks at my kitchen window while my daughter and I run around trying to find the instant when we could “cage” it on film.  Or when the cabbage we planted shows us it has nine lives…or more…every time it resurrects itself after being vanquished by birds.  It comes while we gaze at the green tomatoes and wonder how long they’ll stay hidden from the scampering bunnies and hedgehogs.  It will soon come in the color of red when the first strawberries we ever planted ripen.  Unless of course the entire patch gets dominated by a killer habanero orange because of the seeds that Mr Freebird scattered everywhere, never in his wildest dreams imagining the profuse fecundity of this killer pepper seed. 

The latest brushstroke on the stark canvas came after the purchase of an ancient toy, the Slinky.  I never imagined that a slinky would capture an eight year old’s imagination to the extent that it did.  The Nintendo DSi and all the apps on mommy’s iPhone are now forgotten as she works on creating a shoebox, theatrical depiction of Alice in Wonderland where the slinky will play the part of the hole through which Alice takes the plunge into Wonderland.  Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Alice and the Cheshire Cat puppets have already been fashioned out of cardboard and the remaining cast of characters will be ready for the grand opening on the day Daddy comes back home for the weekend.

And so, life goes on.  She gets her ideas riding in the back seat of my car, I get my passing thoughts on loneliness or love, on being needed or feeling needy, on aging, on contentment or discontent, on expectations or lack thereof, while ferrying us here or there.  The thoughts swirl around and evaporate as soon as the ride ends and we step through a door.


1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed reading this because it rings true on all counts..yes being lonely is another feeling just like sad,happy,jealous,insecure,love,dislike, etc etc.You wrote about getting back to a state of 'balanced nothingness'..You couldnt have put it more aptly.. love your 'nothing' posts

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