Friday, 28 September 2012

Solitude...and Last Week's Reading List

… it is all right to be alone, to want to be alone, to be alone and not lonely—even to be lonely at times
The Muse refused to smile… I brooded, wondering why I couldn’t find a single thing to write about. Not even my baby brother’s antics over the weekend could inspire me.  It wasn’t just writing. I found that I had little to say to my friends. The texts went unanswered and the phone calls were punctuated by awkward silences. There wasn’t even much to say to HIM, which is definitely weird because even when we run out of things to talk about, we never run out of things to argue over. Any tweets were just links to things I had read. No witty commentary to life…nothing.

Since I wasn’t the most pleasant company anyone could have, I kept to myself and read. In that short span of time I read ‘The Lilac Bus’ by Maeve Binchy. Reviewers will tell you that it’s a romance novel but it’s really a book about people, ordinary people who are much more that what meets the eye: the mean girl who doesn’t think that she’s mean and the woman who is not as dumb as everyone takes her to be. It’s an Irish book so I had an Irish accent in my head the whole time I was reading it. Reza says only I can do that.  

I also finally got round to reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. I have wanted to read it since I saw it in a newspaper article about classics that are must-reads before one turns 20. ‘A Man Called Thursday’ was also part of the list. Awesome read by the way. I am sure you are wondering, ‘Why the running commentary about literature?’ To be frank, there’s no point to it.

Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch from 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
All I really set out to do was build a case for loners…or people who feel the need to go for certain lengths of time without unnecessary human contact…people who once in a while need ‘me-time’. This description should fit all persons, in general, but you will be surprised at the number of people who simply can’t function in ones. You see, we aren’t such terrible people.  Sometimes we just want to be left alone. Like Boo Radley.  Oh yes, I knew there was a reason why I mentioned ‘To kill a Mockingbird’. It’s an American classic about racism, justice, family and growing up in the South…but more importantly, it’s a story about two children who spend a whole chunk of their childhood trying to get their neighbor, Boo Radley, to get out of his house before they finally accept that being a loner is not such a terrible thing after all. You catch that and a few other life-changing, life lessons from the book.

So when I sit at a corner table alone, wearing a slightly amused expression and seeming content with life, leave me be. Sometimes all I need are my thoughts, my music and my books. But of course they don’t completely substitute human contact. Even I can’t spend life devoid of all human contact (and that’s saying a lot, being the awesome person that I am). After a dose of me-time I rejoin life. I call up one of two awesome people whom I have probably been neglecting, make plans to spend the weekend binge eating (minus the throwing up), watching movies and regaling each other with tales about the men in our lives.
Have an awesome weekend, be it lonesome or in the company of others. (I use the word ‘awesome’ too many times, right?)

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. –ditto 

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