Thoughts From A Dark Empty Room

First and foremost: DEATH TO 2016! This has truly been one for the history books, and not in a good way. But most of you already know that: you’ve lived it. 

This year, for the new year, I’d like to share a little secret. 

People have asked me off and on over the years why I spend so much time alone. Why do I go off by myself at parties, why did I always hug the wall at school dances and social functions, etc. And the answer is fairly simple: it’s easier–and that is to say, less painful–to be alone in an empty place than to be alone in a crowd.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love my friends and I really enjoy spending time with them. Just this evening, I walked into a house full of friends I haven’t seen in ages and I talked, laughed, hugged, and genuinely had a good time. 

For about ten minutes.

Currently, however, I find myself sitting on the floor beside the locked door of a dark, otherwise empty room. Am I happier here? Not really. But it’s hard to keep smiling downstairs where the party is: hard to be happy when every direction I turn I see another reminder of how alone I feel. I can still hear the party through the floor, and take some comfort in the fact that I can go back at a time of my choosing.

I just can’t lose myself in the party atmosphere the way I used to. (I’ve tried drinking, and I wish I could forget the rest of that night.) I feel like I’m broken, sometimes; like there’s a socialization mechanism that most people are born with, but I somehow missed out on. And sure some people will say, “just go with it,” but what do you do when you don’t know how? 

What do you do when all you see is the empty space around you? When you miss all the jokes, and you don’t know any of the stories? What do you do when, in spite of everyone’s best efforts, (and I give my friends all the kudos in the world, here), you still feel left out? 

Well, if you’re me, you find a dark, otherwise empty room and sit there feeling numb for a while and wait until it passes. Sometimes it takes an hour, or five minutes, or all night. Sooner or later, though, I’ll leave this room. But, for now, it’s easier to be all alone in the night than all alone in a crowd. 

Good night, folks. And Happy New Year, 2017.

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