Solitude is my frenemy. I have a love/hate relationship with it.
I need/crave alone time. Quite a fair amount of it, to be honest. For reading, writing, working on guitar skills, for binge-watching some Netflix series (like “Broadchurch”) that has me all caught up in it. I also just need to be away from all humanity at times. Humanity can get you down, you know.
Some of this desire for solitude I attribute to the weirdness of being me, particularly the writer in me. It is a little odd for a person to actually want to sit in a room alone for countless hours with a keyboard and a monitor for company. Such a person lives in their head a lot, assigning thoughts and words and actions to people they’ve invented. This is a world in which they rule with absolute authority: deciding when the sun rises and sets, who wins and who loses, who lives and who dies. This is not really normal. But I can say that when I am doing it I feel I am doing one of the few things that I am meant to do. For whatever mad reason.
The problem with this prolonged solitude is that, when you leave it, the “real world” waits for you. In the real world, you find you are, in fact, not omniscient. Surprise. If something shitty happens, you can’t just cut to the next scene. You can’t cut and paste events in any order that you fancy. No deleting of unpleasant characters or consequences.
Another part of the problem is that I am in a season of life that is not a whole lot of fun. In the real world, I have a ninety-four-year-old dad whose mind is rapidly deteriorating and an adult son who is talented, smart, funny, charming, and chock-full of good qualities but seems to like dancing on the cliff of potential self-destruction on a regular basis. So I am constantly waiting for the next bizarre thing dad will do and the next possibly future-ruining thing my son may do. It’s a bit stressful. Little wonder I am anxious to run off into a fantasy world of my own making. There I can be the world-saving hero, instead of the guy wiping my dad’s urine off the bathroom floor or the guy paying my son’s court fees.
So, yes, I need my solitude. But a couple of miracles might be helpful too. Nothing too fancy. Some inner peace. The voice of God saying something comforting. A winning Lotto ticket. World peace. You know, just a little somethin’-somethin’.
Too much to ask? Yeah. Probably.