I met a young man this week. 24. He told me. We talked for a bit. You know me; I instantly shift my conversation to the intimate. Not sexual. Real. Emotionally available. When we parted, this young man grabbed me and pulled me close and hugged me. I hate hugs. Everyone knows that. No. He didn’t know that. But he hugged me. With force. No. Passion. Not sexual. Emotional. So lonely. He hugged me with longing. I know lonely.
I used to be lonely. Not anymore. Never anymore. Lonesome. Certainly. But they’re not the same thing. But I’m not anymore. Why? Because I’m open. I say what I feel. Always. I force myself. I don’t make jokes. I’m not sarcastic. I’m not a liar. I force myself to forget myself and make the us about them. The other one. Besides me. People are attracted to the warm. I’m never lonely but I’m always ashamed. Humiliated. Like a fool.
Sometimes people make fun of me. Sometimes others exploit my vulnerability. So? That’s the price I pay so that others aren’t lonely.
This post isn’t about me. It’s about people who are lonely. Be open. Lonely is a choice. The choice isn’t who you’re around. The choice is which emotion you’d rather feel: lonely or humiliated. The prize? Sometimes someone grabs you and encircles you until you’re an us.