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LONELINESS

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LONELINESS

I don’t understand when other authors say writing is a lonely existence. As a child I spent hours at my baby grand piano composing music and writing lyrics that were sad enough to make anyone wonder about my emotional health. There was nothing wrong with it, I was prolific. Those moments were the least lonely I ever felt. It was the loneliness that sent me to the piano. It was there that I could express my true feelings, the ones that would scare friends my age away.

As I have aged, the piano has fallen to the wayside. Whenever I see a piano I long for it, but fear my old songs will be reduced to the wandering mind of a thirteen year old stops me. For convenience sake I took to pen and paper as my instrument. Though my writing is rhythmical, I miss the surge of music that encouraged my voice to match it. The music would speak for me when my words didn’t come. I would play the same piece over and over again, switching the chord progressions allowing me to linger at the piano for hours. Facing the page, is staring at silence. It’s frightening. In my songwriting I was never afraid of being vulnerable, but when I write an essay I feel exposed. No longer tied to considering the proper patterns of syllables that make a song good, has forced me to tell the whole truth.

The point is, when I am creating, I am never alone. It turns out I have enough characters in my head that it’s impossible to be lonely. I’m always having a conversation with one of them. My husband catches me talking to myself. I don't apologize anymore. Yet, he still asks, "are you talking to me?"

Ordinarily I struggle coming up with a storyline. I’m lazy and scour the newspaper and Face book for ideas, but don’t read the articles. Everything I write is based on reality. I don’t have a fantasy bone in my body. I really don’t know how people are so inventive. I do enough stupid things in my day that I have enough material. I believe it’s good. When I repeat my adventures at a dinner party nobody gives a shit. I can see the listeners eyes start to wander. Their silence isn’t because they are enraptured by my stories, but because A the story isn’t open to debate and B by not saying anything they think I’ll tire myself out.

Here is an example of a typical day. I fear going to the grocery store. There is an undeniable urge to steal something going through self-check out. Besides that, nine out of ten times I lose my car keys or my wallet. Thankfully the employees—so far—have been honest, (note to self) and send it to customer service. I can’t imagine where I leave these things, but it must be odd, because the person I reclaim it from always laughs when handing it back to me. I once put my wallet in a New York City mailbox instead of a letter and didn’t realize it until the post office called to tell me they found it. When I come out of the grocery store after going back in to retrieve my belongings, the chance that I damage my car by hitting the cart coral in the parking lot is pretty good.

Through cancer and writing I’ve learned not to be lonely. I read this piece out loud to my husband who sat straight faced and asked, “Why do you need to write a blog?”

I had a great time with myself the last fifteen minutes writing this, only now do I feel lonely.

To buy my book WHY DIDN'T I NOTICE HER BEFORE? click here

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