I used to be lonely. I knew the difference between lonely and alone like they were colors. I was lonely and I was alone and I knew it. It was black and white. Nothing’s more real than black and white. Right?
I used to sit in the corner of my room and imagine that the whole world was a different shape and that while morphing into this difference, I’d be squashed by the world’s inability to create corners and I would go from feeling like nothing to to actual nothing. I’d pass out and wake up with a wetness around my cheek and a soft puffiness beneath my eyes. I’d go for a walk and notice things in pairs that I never noticed before. Trees had visitors and clouds were never alone for too long. It would rain and never just rain one drop. Even sidewalks had companions, for as long as there were sidewalks there would be people on the side who needed a place to walk. Here I was, as human as they come, but still unable to find another human to tolerate me for more than two days.
I was torn between hanging and jumping.
I Climbed buildings higher than my self esteem and walked bridges that were burned by those who walked before me. Those who wanted to make sure that no one walked those bridges again. I walked them hoping to fall. Hoping to crash. Hoping to find another something that was looking for a me. A me that was open like a book but broken at the spine, pages that had fallen out and were rearranged in the wrong order. A story that was ending but hadn’t even really begun.
I stopped walking and started running.
The world looks different at a faster speed. Pain doesn’t last. Joy seems eternal. Heart always beating more rapidly than it should. Sex in dark alleyways was my favorite. Running got expensive. I collapsed. I relapsed. I found myself in the corner of a room that wasn’t mine. Its walls painted white and a bed constructed from stainless steel. I tried to imagine the world was a different shape and it was. It was round and the walls were padded and there were no cliffs or bridges or buildings to climb. There was no escape.
I got out of that room and bought a bicycle. Bike rides in the park after dark were like poetry. Everything a feeling. The chill on my neck from the breeze. The sounds of laughter from children going down a slide. I could feel, and it was new and I liked it but it got boring. I fell off my bike. Wound up in some dark alleyway with an unknown face telling me secrets, looking around to see if people were listening. We started running. Together. For the first time in my life I wasn’t alone. I was running with another runner and we were sprinting. We ran so fast we lost each other.
I woke up in a room that wasn’t mine and wasn’t white. This one was dark and crowded. A small empty room full of me. I tried to imagine the world was a different shape and it wasn’t. It wasn’t even a world anymore. It was just a small room. A small crowded empty room full of me.
© 2011 Megan Lucas