Like most ideas, she was conceived, and brought forth into a world she could not understand. She was immediately caught up in a swirling mass of creatures and energies. They began pushing her around, tearing her apart, scattering her pieces, and then reassembling her at their whim. It was not her fault she had been born, and she had relinquished responsibility for her existence long ago. An idea was nourished on the substance of belief, and the world around her certainly believed.
She began as an ethereal mist. Floating along on a river of time, she watched the world for thousands of years. Soon she realized she wasn’t like the other living things around her. They would gather in packs, schools, and clans. They would come together in flocks and groups. Some of them even had these things they called “cities.” This prompted a quest.
Her search was methodical, weaving through each continent, each species, and delving into each culture. The search was fruitless, and she soon admitted there were no other things I Eventually, she overheard the word for what she was: alone. There was no one else around to name her. and so she claimed this word for herself. Alone described what she was, it described who she was, and so, she reasoned, it was her name.
There came a time when she thought she would change her name. She had noticed separate species came together for their mutual benefit. She had watched ideas mix and mingle until they were considered one. With Hope to guide her, she searched for a group to join. Another idea, Reality, was particularly harsh, and soon she realized there was no place for her in any group. The members of groups were always preoccupied and, many times, they were so loud they couldn’t hear her whispers.
Unwilling to give up she went in search of another like herself. She would find someone else who was
When she met him, she was excited beyond anything she could have expected. It was no matter he didn’t answer her whispers, or that he mispronounced her name. If he wanted to call her “loneliness,” it would be a small sacrifice for the reward of companionship. She couldn’t understand how two “alones” made one “loneliness,” but she was a foreign thing and so she would trust her new friend.
There is a feeling that gets down into the center of you. A loneliness that wraps itself around your bones and squeezes out the marrow of who you are. It is a thing that moves deliberately and purposefully toward sentience until it becomes something that is alive.
As slowly as it happens, there is still a moment when it wakes up, but you can’t remember when
it happened. One moment you are alone, and in the next there is something else inside of vou. It is in
this realization that you find the beginning of the end. It is the battle that turns the tide of the war against you. It is the moment you realize this thing you call loneliness is going to win.
This feeling is hard for you to explain, because it is a special thing not born of being alone. It is the ache of a forced smile in a crowded room. A pretention, even among friends, a falsehood in your heart, meant only to save the tenderness in theirs. Coming alive as a breathing thing, a feeding thing, it begins consuming you. The loneliness takes without giving until you are spent, and all that remains is an empty husk of who you were.
The only thing worse than this thing nesting inside of you is the chance it could escape. As much as you loath this thing it is your only companion. To be without the loneliness would be to not feel, and
not feeling is just one step closer to your end. You have promised yourself you will not beg for the end.
There is a comfort in the idea that your loneliness will be with you always, and its cease less whispers are the price you pay. The whispers build upon each other, louder and clearer, until words form. It is then you hear a feminine voice. She speaks softly, seductively, and you hear, “All things pass, and one day, your lonesome etched bones will return to the dust from which they came.”
One day all her hopes come true. He speaks to her. He is tentative at first and never speaks around
others, but he answers her whispers. He asks who she is and where she came from. Why, he asks, is she in his mind?
She is so excited for conversation that her whispers come fast and incessant. She can tell he doesn’t quite understand her words, but this is natural because Human is her second language. In her years of wandering, she had learned the phrase, “practice makes perfect,” and so she will dedicate herself. Her whispers will be endless and she will learn how to make them louder.
Soon she sees their friendship has grown so much that he changes his name from “alone” something called “desperate.” This must have been a good thing because it makes him confess to her that he wouldn’t give up. That makes her happy, because now she had a companion. He had become someone who she could whisper to in the night.
It is touch and go. You’ re not sure how much more you can take. You have fought the good fight, but she keeps up her pace. The race is tiresome, but you are committed to its finish.
There are days where hope floats gently on the breeze, but just out of your reach. You stretch for it, stumble after it, but it only allows the brush of your fingertips. Lifting slightly higher it always slips from your grasp. You chase it through your house, around the corners at work, even among the trees in the park. The idea of Hope doesn’t want to play. You know this is because of the jealous attention of your companion, but that isn’t your fault. Is it?
You see the ledge. At first, you try and veer away, but you can’t concentrate with all the whispers in your head. Soon you’re running toward the cliff, headlong and with wild abandon, because she has promised you can fly. Who needs Hope when you can fly?
It was me the entire time. Both you and she probably already knew that, but were kind enough not to say so. You with your platitudes and her with her wants. How much difference is there in your polite murmurs of “it’ll be okay,” and her incessant whispers?
I’Il speak to you by day, and you will give me back your murmurs and imply I shouldn’t answer the whispers in the night. Things are fuzzy though, and I won’t listen. I’ll whisper back to my loneliness, in the dark reaches of the night, through the autumn and winter of my life, even unto the midnight hour when the days of my existence are far spent. She has promised she will not leave me.
Only when I lay my head upon the ground and eternity opens before me will she slip away. Without a whisper or a caress, she will eave, and I will finally be alone. I will finally have the solitude have always searched for.