Lonesome Pine UPDATED 2022
(So I guess what I'm doing now is revisiting old posts for any relevance to current events. Today's hits, yesterday's favorites. Apologies.)
If he is so smart, how come he’s single and childless and alone. This is sometimes the nature of a self-posed question in the middle of a drunken card game, surrounded by young people in love. It doesn’t matter how well you like someone, fate doesn’t bless everyone the same level of happiness. Fate notwithstanding some level of effort. Or conditions, you can’t forget about conditions. Daisies just don’t blossom in the dark.
Or subterfuge. There has to be at least one person out there who publically laments his loneliness while secretly reveling in the prospect of an endless solitude. Inexorable waves of decalcifying sadness that feed an artistic bent or spiritual longing or addiction to vitamin supplements, I don’t know. All I know is that it hurts to see your friends publically acknowledge a longing for companionship, trench it like a big hole in front of their house that you cannot fill. Have it remind you of all the buried bones in your own backyard.
These are not my own personal fears. I have been saturated with love and companionship, wadded it tightly into my cylinders so that the residue itself amalgamated with the steel, and on my last day I will leave my deathbed smelling faintly of perfume and oil. The fireworks show is over, and there is always going to be some sadness like forgotten picnic blankets, but melancholy is where the magic happens.
If only you could share memories the way you share a smoke, open up your box of happenstance and allow everyone a handful. But I left mine out in the rain and when I opened it up, it had sprouted, the stronger memories feeding on the faded, and now there is not much to do but toss the whole lot into the flower box and see what thrives. Maybe I will develop a more concentrated form of loneliness, really suffer like an Olympic champion.
Loneliness is not a contest! you might say. But maybe we just haven't discovered all the original accounts of it, my god, how could we. The scrolls are surely hidden away in undiscovered hermitages. Think of all the unknown mythology surrounding solitude, accounts of which remain untold because the lonely haven't anyone with whom to share.
Thespis the Rejected, who challenged Artemis to a battle of loneliness and won because she had a wedding to attend. Cyrus the Forsaken, whose loneliness was such that it was said his first teardrops gave rise to the solitary snipe. Or Labarna the Unbefriended, whose imaginary friend pretended he was a stone.
They were free to pursue such wondrous exploits, unburdened with the longing that comes from a kiss or a midnight stroll. Lucky.