12/5/12

Alone . . .

I want to dispel a myth right here and now. There are 6.9 BILLION people on the face of the earth. The same face that is covered 70% water and just 30% land. So, according to my calculations (aka Google) there are 35 people per square mile on land. That means we each have, on average, just 790,000 (give or take) square feet to call "home" on this planet. That's a few football fields. There are millions of lunatics living on just a handful of square miles on that dreadful island they call Manhattan at the base of the Hudson river. Anyone still feeling "alone"?

Let's talk about "alone" - because we all have a different definition for it. There's PHYSICALLY alone (as in a self-imposed recluse with nothing but old newspapers and canned goods to rant at). PHYSICAL solitude is, at best, temporary. Just ask Tom Hanks in that dreadful piece of crap movie he made where he befriended a volleyball (I think it's called Life of Pi). And where do you get those newspapers and canned goods if not for interaction anyway. There's EMOTIONAL alone (that's where, if you're like me, you feel/fear/resent that no one really gets you so you just sort of plug along to your own drummer and hope no one really notices how standoffish you really are). There's MENTAL alone. This one is tough and I presume is where most of you who feel "alone" get your angst from - this is the "alone" where you have a spouse, family, friends, colleagues but feel betrayed, abandoned, left out, or otherwise neglected. They don't get you. They don't pay enough attention to you. They don't ask you often enough what you think of the Royal Couple crapping out the next generation of disappointing heirs to an irrelevant throne. Poor you.

I'm sure there are other forms of alone (I'm not a shrink, but I've sure annoyed my share of them over the years).

I don't care - truly - what form of alone you might feel. I don't really give much attention to people who claim how unfortunate it is to be "alone, especially 'this time' of year" and I certainly don't think it is appropriate to whisper about or pass along "sympathies" to those you believe/fear to be "alone" in any way/manner/shape/form - this time of year or otherwise. I'll say something direct here . . . most of the time I wish there were LESS people out there trying to love, support, befriend, and otherwise give me time, attention, and energy I don't otherwise want/need/deserve. I don't want to be alone - I love people, discussions, helping, being a good friend, etc. I just don't want anyone to equate divorce with being alone. What I DO want is some alone time to watch a little online porn and make a few bad decisions between right and left.

I am quick to argue with (calmly, at first) people who claim to be alone and I'm more than happy to toss it up with people who try to imply their pity is needed by a person not having the greatest time of their life when they sit out the 3-legged race at the county fair. I just don't care for the whole argument.

Why my apathy? Simple. ALONE does not exist. It does not. It has never happened to a human being and it will never happen to a human being. I'm going to go one farther (since your probably offended already if you're going to be) none of you that claim to be "alone" or claim to have good intentions in worrying about the "alone" are even focused on what is actually going on.
  • Someone who has no spouse is not ALONE - they've not found/have lost someone that they truly connect with and can share their life with.
  • People who don't have a bunch of family within an area code or general proximity are not ALONE. They just won't be spending a particular moment with them but it doesn't mean they aren't connected in thought, words, and video chat. OR it means they are far away for a reason (families are all insane, yo).
  • If you're seated at a table for one in a restaurant, you are not ALONE - you are a having a me party. You can leave your manners at home. Enjoy. Eat up. Get dessert.
  • If someone you know has no social plans on a Friday night, they are not ALONE - they just don't have any desire to hit the local cinaplex, discotheque, or coffee house. Maybe they wanted a few hours of peace and quiet. For the 167th week in a row.
  • If you don't feel like anyone "gets" you or "respects" you - that is probably because, like me, you're an asshole and/or people presume you to be one. Probably the prior.
I know the notion that people NOT really being alone and being almost combative about it is probably going to be controversial. I'll put a disclaimer here - people can FEEL alone. That is a real/genuine feeling. If people feel alone enough for long enough they may think, say, or do extreme and self-sabotaging things. They may hurt themselves. They may hurt other people. They MAY run down to the Humane Society and adopt yet another cat (don't worry - I'm thinking about snatching a guinea pig at best). I HOPE the most extreme thing they'd do is pick up another cat.

But ponder this . . . is anyone ever really alone when they are surrounded by cats that give and receive love? Is anyone ever really alone at all? Or are they just not quite synced up with the things (big and or small) they might want and need in life to feel more fulfilled and connected?

Next time you feel "alone" or worry about someone being "alone" - you should stop and ask what or who is really missing and why. If you can direct back to a healthier concern or perspective than simply being "alone" you should. And you should focus on the thing(s) or person/people that might make you feel more tied-in to your world. If you can not - you should talk with a professional, immediately, who might be able to help you find some peace or help you itemize why you may feel isolated. 

WORST case, just take a look around. There are 34 more people in just your square mile alone. And the GOOD ones have cats. Lots of 'em.