Recently a friend asked me what I think of when I go to bed. An odd question not quite in the same category as what’s your sign and certainly more thought provoking than what’s your favorite color.
Since I go to bed alone I most often think alone thoughts. You know, “sigh, another night alone.” Now alone isn’t necessarily alone in bed. I much more often think of being alone as being the only one in the apartment than of being the only one in the bed. Of course it’s nice to have somebody care so much that they share their whole body with you but it’s nicer when somebody shares their whole person. But that’s the philosophical me. It took a while to learn that and I’m ok with it even if the bodily me would like to feel another body next to it sometimes. But I think not having someone in the same house is a more profound kind of alone.
They say there’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I’m pretty sure those people were never really alone for any length of time. You can talk to someone every day, you can see people during all the waking hours, you can have someone nearby, but those will never take the place of sharing space. When you go through days of going to bed at night never having another person to check in on, never having someone to say goodnight to, knowing if something happened nobody is there to say “it’s going to be ok,” that’s being alone. And if you don’t think that’s also being lonely, you haven’t not had someone to say goodnight to on a regular basis.
I can’t imagine anybody who lives alone who hasn’t thought about what happens if something happens. Is that just part of being alone? Or lonely?