On Being Alone

The concept of being ‘a couple’ is about as meaningful to you as sunsets to a blind person.

You live in your head. You watch people more carefully than you should. A trip to Starbucks isn’t just a quick exchange of goods. Instead, you see everyone. The baristas weird banter; the homeless man sleeping on the table next to the window; the emo girl on her incase protected laptop. These people have interesting lives. You don’t.

At work, you get things done, sometimes even efficiently. You take far too much pleasure in your Tuesday and Thursday night prime-time television line-up. It should make you feel like a parent; instead it provides mid-week comfort. Thursday calls for one, maybe two, mugs of Malbec.

When you go out, you either drink too little or too much. Too little and you’re in a salty mood for the last hour and half to two hours. That usually requires apology texts in the morning to your two friends. And, if really bad, an emoticon. Too much and you gotta call and “ask what happened” because you were “so drunk you don’t remember.” But, yeah, you remember making out with the ugly kid and literally running away just before he or she unbuttoned that top button.

You have “couple” friends. You get why they work but you always have a reason why you’d never be with either one of them. She’s needy. He’s selfish. In your mind you could cut them down in less than two minutes, bringing them both to tears.

A lot goes on in your fantasy-loner world. The conversations you have with yourself. You can be quite witty. Just yesterday you saw “organic sailboat-shaped salt-shakers” and thought to yourself, Chloe Sevigny would most definitely own a pair. Not many people would have those.

In your down time, you get to really know certain, especially soulful, songs. Etta James singing, “I’d Rather Go Blind” becomes the epitome of emotion. If only you realized, you have no idea what she’s talking about.

The moment you realize you’re alone, that all this is your life, that these things are really happening, becomes the same morning you walk into Starbucks, hear, “I was just/ I was just/ I was just sittin here thinking” and get a smiley-face text from your friend about plans for tonight and you rush to get a drink, just coffee today because the line’s long, and you grab it and turn, brushing arms with someone and, flustered, a smile creeps over your face and over theirs and you blush and you walk out and you look back for a split second and they’re staring right back at you.

Then, baby baby baby, you walk away. TC mark

Image – Keoni Kabral


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  • Jenesuispasmorrissey

    Beautiful. And so true.

  • Ohsi

    Daaaaaang, I like it.

  • Kat

    Why is it that the Thought Catalog knows exactly how i act and think? Esp. in regards to the last paragraph and line. Damn it.

  • http://twitter.com/alinatrifan Alina Trifan

    Yes! I like this piece. The ending made me smile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    baby baby baby it was sweet

  • Jasmine

    Nice piece, but I think the author’s confused “being alone” with “being lonely”. 

    • http://twitter.com/tabithamcgrath Tabitha McGrath

      Yes, it’s about being lonely, not alone. 
      Being alone is ok. And doesn’t need a Disney ending such as this.

      Having said that though, it really is very well written. 

  • Anonymous

    This is why i read TC. So good!

    • Guest


    • Guest


  • Anonymous

    Hah, I *wish* life had these fairytale endings

    • http://twitter.com/mung_beans 371747

      catching someone’s eye and blushing and leaving without speaking is a fairytale ending?  

    • http://twitter.com/mung_beans 371747

      catching someone’s eye and blushing and leaving without speaking is a fairytale ending?  

  • Emily

    this is my favorite article so far

  • lolastrawbunny

    i think you crawled into my head

  • bringbackmeganboyle

    This sucks.

    • woot

      only because you know it’s true

  • Sophia

    loved, loved, loved this. beautiful writing.

  • Rhee

    This is kinda innovative. I like.

  • http://www.adrianmcmillan.com/blog Adrian McMillan

    I can relate, until I go to get that coffee at Starbucks and “brush” up on someone.

  • grembo zavia

    uhm yeah, if you wouldn’t mind getting out of my head, that’d be great.

    Nicely done

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6IFPDSFKEQJE2ZPP3ASE35MRL4 Laura

    This was SO close to relating to my every day life until the very end of the article…and then you lost me. But otherwise, great fucking job. 

    • Ashes&lace

      Me, too!! Glad i’m not the only one.

  • Kj

    Wow you really nailed it! except it was at a meeting then working together that we bumped into eachother

  • http://twitter.com/Dakota_Diamond Dakota G

    Not even my mind is safe anymore.

  • Chynna Joy

    This speaks to me.

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