Bookmark #379

People wrote for different things. I only wrote to make someone, anyone, less alone; that, in turn, made me less alone myself. I was prone to loneliness. I had known this forever. We wrote to give others what we craved for ourselves. Even in crowds, in groups, in places teeming with love, I felt odd loneliness. I did not know what to do with it, so I allowed my mind to wander into the breezy afternoons, in the sunlit sultriness of April, in the muggy nights while I lay with a book only to find something to say. It often came back to me, back to the moment, with a sentence or a few words that I would quickly jot down. It was all there was to it. The words were my doorway to all of these moments in time. All my words were a map. These bookmarks, these soft afterthoughts, were all I had to remember my life. I could not rely on my memory; the little I did not record was often forgotten.

But the purpose of these words was to tell someone I too felt it: in all moments of happiness and those of sorrow, in all longing and all fulfilment, in every echo of laughter and every tear shed, I too felt it, this galling feeling of being alone. I could never put a finger on where it came from, why was it there, or what I could do with it. At some point, between years I cannot quite remember because I did not write enough, it occurred to me I could not be the only one who feels this way. I could not be the only one who builds a home in crowded malls, in raucous cafes, on the streets, only to walk back home and retreat to my own pockets of peace when I had seen enough. No matter where I went, this recipe for my life stayed the same. I had made my peace with it.

I ignored it, this trickling feeling of being alone, like we ignored a leaky tap. It sat there, marking some sort of ticking of time. I sat there, not letting it get to my head until it became white noise. In this unique arrangement, I found my way to happiness. I wondered if it was because I wrote more often, but I could not be too sure. It was the most pleasant spring I had ever seen. I was alone, perhaps that much was true, but I was not lost. It was all that mattered.