I want you here, but really I don't want anyone here at all. You know?
9 April 2017: Yesterday afternoon I was in bed, watching series on my laptop, drifting in and out of a nap. “Wow,” I thought, “sleeping in on a Saturday is so nice.”
Then I thought “It would be so much better if there was someone here with me…”
I’ve seen several tweets about “craving cuddles” and “co-sleeping” on my timeline, and I’ve always agreed with the sentiment in a detached sort of way. But yesterday. Yesterday I felt like something was truly missing from me, like if I could call someone up and say “come over, we can just nap the whole time. It will be fun”, I would. Because then I would be a little less lonely.
For years I’ve read about how truly alone a person can feel when they’re living alone. There have been stories about how there’s no one to come home to; how the quiet becomes disturbing; how a person begins to yearn for the physical presence of others.
At best, the people who write these stories learn to be self-sufficient and to value the experience of being alone. At worst, they recognise a deep loneliness within themselves and subsequently have to find ways to deal with it. That’s usually a long, complex process that involves asking questions like “why don’t I like being alone?”
I do like being alone. I like to be left alone to watch TV, eat, sleep, read – all the things that I think are fun. But occasionally I’ll hear something on the radio or see something on TV, and I’ll wish there was someone else around to share my reaction with. Talking to the TV gets weird sometimes, and while there is no echo at my place (I have furniture to absorb sound, but also the space is not that big), I sometimes feel like other people can hear me, and that they must be wondering who I’m speaking to.
I think about how I would share my space with someone a lot. Since there’s no space for a sleeper couch, and I don’t have a coffee table, anyone who comes to visit has to perch on the chairs in front of the TV, gulp down their tea and then leave. So it hardly feels like we’ve spent any real time together, then I’m alone again, and I have to wait until I get to the office to see other people.
I suppose my issue is finding a way to incorporate spending time with people I like into my life. Working is not like being in school, where there are countless opportunities to just hang out with any- and everybody. Now, I have to make time, I have to arrange travel (everyone I know lives at least 20 minutes away), and I have to maximise the value of the time we spend together, so that when I come home I don’t feel like there’s something missing.
As for craving cuddles…
I think I’ll have to look for other ways to get human contact, like going for manicures or having my hair done at the salon – maybe even going for a massage, if I get really desperate.
There isn’t anyone I can call for co-napping. Partly because I don’t know anyone who I would actually share my bed with, but largely because I don’t like sharing my personal space with anyone so the concept itself is not feasible in my life.
I mean I didn’t even want a roommate this year because I didn’t want to have to deal with living with another person, worrying about whether they will pay rent on time or buy groceries or electricity, or have loud sex with their boyfriends in the next room.
I just don’t want the chaos of living with other people. But the quiet moments, the moments where everyone is at rest – reflecting, restoring – those I could share with someone.