I sit with my body across the couch, lean the side of my head against the back cushion and yawn. I sleepily focus on the parts of my body that are still strong and ignore, for a moment, the joints that ache. I think to myself that I am not entirely unhappy but that I would be happier if i could simply follow my heart today; if I could read and lie down and think and let myself feel that gentle dreamy melancholy that I sense just beneath the sleepiness.

I lift my head off of the cushion and look at the wall in front of me: a blank canvas for thoughts, feelings and daydreams. So much potential. What does it mean to feel lonely? Or, more specifically, what is the nature of this loneliness? It is made up of so many things. There is a dash of the primal loneliness of the abandoned child. There is a heaping tablespoon of the solitude of an adult living alone. There is a sprinkle of yearning to be close to specific people. And there is a splash of the unmet sensual needs of a very sensual soul. Hmmm. There it is on the wall in front of me. I take an eraser and start over. This time I decide to be more…visual.

I see Aut’s firm naked thighs in the afternoon light. I picture a crying baby in his crib alone. I see the lovely sullen face of a best friend in pain. I see a man walking around his apartment, doing what he needs to do to survive: chores, conversations with himself, catching glimpses of the tiniest loveliest things (little snacks to partially satiate a deeper longing).

I come back. To the pain in my knee. To the realization that I must gather myself and prepare to work. I steady myself. Dry the tears I wasn’t even aware I was crying. Clean my glasses. Eat a snack. I’m ready. I have to be.

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