The warming comfort of isolation protects me, it makes me feel secure, and I am home. Seven days on at work then seven days off leave me engaged then disengaged; a balanced life. At times my body protests as my bed sags as I plant myself in one place hoping to bloom. A blossom appears for a moment then vanishes like the ghost of unrealistic schemes and dreams and unfulfilled hopes. Is it fear or prudence? Either way I am safe from the pleasures and pains of living.
More than 4000 Facebook friends allow me a sense of importance, the contentment of relevancy. When someone responds to a post or engages in a chat I exist; when they don’t I am a voyeur watching others live and exist as they share. In this room I sit with the blinds open on this cul-de-sac in this tiny town. I can see the neighbors across the street as they walk their dogs or enjoy the company of family and friends. I want to be invited as much as I fear the invitation. I want to be included as much as I hope not to be asked. I am comfortable here and surely the next big thing will be mine.
I am a master of the art of ‘to do’ and a sheer failure at the craft of ‘done’; yet I continue to dream and scheme. My travels will take me anywhere Travelocity flies. Sure I went to Vietnam last year on a disastrous mission to be Gaugin; Moon and Sixpence indeed. Yet I have the memories and the regrets to fuel my writing. I am the master of failure; it is my passion.
I’ve moved past the park bench to my small room. Sure I have to walk four and a half miles to work on the night shift in a hotel but the exhilaration of making that walk and surviving jumpstarts my shift. I’ve only been hit by a car in this town without sidewalks once so all in all I’m pretty lucky. I have acquaintances at work and I have bartenders and their recognition and indifference are my lodestar.
After Vietnam and my mother’s death I was at a peak as more noticed my suicidal ideations. I was at the top of my social media profile and I met a local detective who really liked my writing and made me promise not to kill myself. So I didn’t. I am a man of my word after all.
Now I plan to go home to DC for a week soon and enjoy the memories and sadness of being lonely in a vibrant place. I hope to return to my glory days and begin anew and it is that hope that keeps me going; at least for this week.
The warm embrace of isolation begins to turn fuzzy as my arms begin to fade and tingle. I know it is trying to kill me. If I am alone I will have the satisfaction of dying having reached my goal. Oh sure you’ll miss me when I ‘m gone and that will be my peak. Yet I save myself from isolation’s grasp when nature calls or I need fresh beers or the pizza guy arrives. Then I return to the side of my bed, to my laptop and my open blinds and begin again. For me it is the cycle of life; it is my time waiting at the dock. Someday my ship will come in so I must abide in isolation so as not to miss it.