Thursday, January 31, 2008

One for sorrow, one for joy

The narrator at the beginning of last week's Desperate Housewives episode (Season 3, Liasons) spoke on about how it's so easy to spot the lonely ones. "They're the people who tell stories to their plants, and whisper secrets to their pets, and have arguments with their TV. And the loneliest of all are the ones who talk to people. People who are no longer there."

Ordinary, everyday lives can't be that sinister (the camera pans to a frozen corpse on the "people who are no longer there" cue), but narrator woman is probably bang-on when she says talking to oneself is just a leeetle cuckoo.

Except, what of liking being alone, convinced that one isn't in denial? There's a difference? There must be. For instance, other than stupid traffic jams, I find I don't actually mind my commute to and back from work. Takes up almost three hours of my day, but it hasn't been too bad. And I'd much rather do it alone, not paying heed to anyone else's music tastes, not having to apologise every time I break suddenly, swerve all maniacal, and be, ha-ha, triumphant, that I still missed the truck. No, thats my joy. Driving alone. Screw economy, ecology. No carpool, discounting the odd interesting companion.

And a lot of my friends, I find, don't mind being alone. Maybe we're just a sound bunch. But I did try to think of times I might've been lonely. Except, in my head, those were just times I was bored. I didn't like it when my brother went off to boarding school. Not even when I knew I was going to have that nice big wooden-floored room all to myself. I missed him dearly. But that's not lonely, that's missing, right? That day maybe it was both. But missing = lonely? No, then why the 2 different words.

Sadness = lonely? No, sadness, in my head, should have reason behind it. Otherwise you're just plain simple depressed, and you need to buy new clothes/ get a nice new exotic hand cream (it's ho-ho-ba not JO-JO-ba!) or force someone into paying you a believable compliment. Angling for a new "love interest" is another way to go. Or just play with dogs, and save money on mushy text messages.

Sometime last week, while petting a friend's awfully smelly rotweiler, I remember thinking (if not vaguely missing) our gorgeous german shepherds that've been dead and gone for a while. They have skin problems, stink when they grow old, and are invariably struck by some crazy tic that latches on to their flesh, and somehow makes their ears acquire a permanently foolish slant. But in this same old age of theirs, grabbing them by their furry chin-skin, all grey and malleable, and emitting primitive "ooosshie woooshie" sounds quite takes care of loneliness, even if for just a bit, and even if you need strong hand sanitisers thereafter.

Talking to plants, I don't know -- "African violet, wassup" doesn't cut it. But if, by default, they happen to overhear (and, who knows, benefit?) from what's blaring on world space, *dumbfounded thumbs-up y'all!*

Vodka in coffee mugs -- symptomatic of lonely? Afternoon swigs, three ice cubes, chillies, green, sliced, and diagonal. 'Course not, that's just cool and alcoholic-y! woohoo!

What of yanking out keys off a keyboard, using nail file as lever, then dunking said keys in a mug of surfy water, gently tooth brushing each cube while wafting through detergent bubbles? Is that lonely, or just too much time being innovatively spent?

These are things I've done when alone. Preoccupied, peaceful -- look top right of blog -- and distracted only by phone calls that have callers asking "what you doing", only for you to reply "nothing much". And that, not because you can't describe what you are really doing -- no verbal handicap there -- but because on an average, who freakin' cares. There, that could feel lonely.

Sitting at work, suddenly overcome by an awful pun that just has to be shared, but favourite colleague isn't accessible anymore -- not online, not otherwise -- lonely. And when it comes to solo meals, alone could overlap with lonely. It's probably unwise to delve much further, I shall choose instead to be sadistically satisfied that the 'emotion' doesn't just visit a privileged few.

18 comments:

Yohan said...

I don't know whether it was subconscious, but I posted on a vaguely related topic on my new blog.

Let me say again that this was an excellent post.

Nimpipi said...

And I managed para breaks even!

Mayonnaise Toss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SchizoSalad said...

i dont mind being alone. except i'd rather be alone with you. but it doesnt quite work that way.does it? yet we say it - or atleast i so - i frequently ask "are you two alone?" - gramatically it doesnt make sense, but somehow it does.
one doesnt like being alone. i suppose one gets used to it.

lonely = void = you gone.
mumbai is bland. come back?

xoxo
sisterhood of literature-slut pants

bluespriite said...

I feel like using this as a story... its so sad.. :) and resonates certainly. tell me if i can use it..

Perakath said...

"Vodka in coffee mugs -- symptomatic of lonely? Afternoon swigs, three ice cubes, chillies, green, sliced, and diagonal. 'Course not, that's just cool and alcoholic-y! woohoo!"

Ho ho ho!

Perakath said...

I totally empathise with the music in the car thing. I'm always pandering to others' taste, not playing what I like to listen to. Annoying it is.

mistercrowley said...

Heh. We have an adorable rottwieler in my office, who's awfully cute in a bumbling sorta way. He will be up for grabs in a few months, I would suspect. Interested? :) (just so you know..He's been named 'Honey' by the man I work for, so he may just turn out to be a gay dog..but, well, that's lawyers for you).

Dealing with the sadness/lonliness thing is quite a bitch. I'm not sure if it's really 'sadness' which bites. It's more of that empty feeling you get in your middle (no, I'm not talking about rumbling stomachs)....

[@ Perakath: Sure fire way to ensure non-pandering to other people's (often crappy) music tastes? Hehehe. Simple. Don't keep that sort of music in the car. I don't (um. well. there can be some exceptions)]

IR said...

i think lonliness is in the head, you could be at a family gathering with 100 people and still feel lonely ?

live all alone yet not feel lonely in the mind ....

BLogographos said...

You are good.

Nimpipi said...

Schizo, baby, I'd rather be alone with you too. Come come, come to Dehlee, munchkin. Blender's pride awaits you. (And that lapdance..;)

You were the trigger for this anyway, spriite. Take it take it, spread the cheer.

Pera, bitchy insinuating doormat, you..

Thanks for offering Crowley (is MC as an abbreviation wrong btw?;) but one can do without more bumbling rotweilers and or gay whatevers.

you're probably right IR, I've heard that said. Personally though, I'm still more bored than lonely in a crowd; hey, and family gatherings can be fun y'know..chalo, SOME family gatherings? no? ok, dropped. :P

Blogo: charmed!

sammy said...

would you rather have a privileded emotion or an emotion visiting a privileged few. does this make sense

Nimpipi said...

If u were a stranger, it might not. But also, isn't a priviledged emotion, and it visiting a privileged few mean the same thing?? give me examples, i'm a lil lost. To me, both sort of mean the same thing. show me the light fella, more clearly.

sammy said...

i see charlie brown has returned. of all the charlie browns he's the charlie browniest therin lies the light. absolutely love the picture.

Aanchal said...

I so agree! I've always loved being by myself too - for some time in the day. The joy of coming back to your house - and just - you know..."being". Nothing compares. No?
Used to love that about living alone before G and I got married. :)

Perakath said...

I like the old one better. Even though you could argue this is better done up. Boys...

mistercrowley said...

Heh...not bad pips....you're the only other person to get 'starryeyes' off the bat ;)

millenniumhand said...

You've been tagged. Check it out.