There is a certain art to solitude. One wouldn’t think it, but there is. In my years with no one else around, I can say I’m quite learnt in it. The art, yes. The art of being lonely.
The trouble with it, you see, is not the isolation itself, no. The problem is when you wake up in the morning, put your near blue feet to the carpeted floor, and walk to through the shoebox living room to the kitchen. Confronted by the dull light, and the selfsame scene, the problem is not being alone. The problem is the space that it gives for all the thoughts in your head.
You see, school children can block those thoughts out. With television, and homework and boyfriends and records and telephone calls. When there’s nothing of the like, then all those things you can easily keep pressed down in the dark edges of your mind, they come up, with snapping jaws and pinching fingers. In this way the silence can fill a space as easily and wails and shrieks.
So the days out in the sun are the days that that silence dissolves. You can make friends with the things around you in the meantime. My little fox in the box, is that to me. it’s like a seasonal baby, or a little present from the years ago. Sometimes I pretend it’s from a lover. Some man who I would have loved dearly, but who had died sailing on a great ship, or in a tram accident, or of some incurable cancer.
But my sister gave it to me, and she lives two towns away.
But there you are, the art to being lonely. The art to being lonely is filling the spaces.