– I am an addict, an addict, an addict… – the words rang in her ears every time she had to leave the quiet household and merge with crowds.
Crowds talked in their own way; the hysterical I gotta win, I can’t lose, I am late, mingled with the desperate he is not calling me back, she won’t get laid, they will never promote me forming a never-ending buzz.
She used to pick out male and female voices from the hum; initially, she was curious what the buzzing was about.
I must meet project deadlines, and I gotta pay the bills overlapped I am hungry, I am lonely, and I am horny. She moved on, I want her back, I’ll get drunk, I will smoke weed resonated with people are stupid, I should lose weight, I want shrimp scampi.
Eventually, the curiosity turned sour since different words generated the same old I want, I crave, I will die if I do not have it now. Words of distress and agony; words of anger and instant gratification, words of addiction.
The bigger was the crowd, the more addiction was emitted. Airports, stadiums, shopping malls were the worst particularly during the holiday season. Individual pain, fury, and anxiety fused into an avalanche of despair and hatred that moved fast enough to destroy serenity, love, and common sense.
The crowd annihilated human individuality, people turned into mere transmitters of cravings and impulsivity losing their mind, becoming numb, deaf, and blind. Loud music, bright pictures, and spicy smells blended with screaming sexuality amplified addiction and maximized craziness.
– I am an addict, I am an addict, I am an addict – the humming insanity of the crowd felt annoying to her ears. She was never a loner, she loved interacting with people, she was just bothered by crowds.
Loneliness feels like the joy of Colombian coffee and fresh baked cookies
Loneliness feels like watching comedy shows on the treadmill and breathing in the refreshing darkness of Friday nights after intense workouts
Loneliness is a quiet getaway from vain attempts to have a partner enjoy shopping malls, dinners with girlfriends, and in-laws’ visits
Loneliness can get you into spending Saturdays in a public library
Loneliness can mean home remodeling
Loneliness feels like orchids bathing
Loneliness looks like gardening
Loneliness comes with the time to review a monthly household budget and to plan a vacation
Loneliness allows the time to finally see a nutritionist and a fitness instructor and to start watching the diet and working on the beach body
Loneliness comes with taking care of sleep patterns and substituting sleeping pills with meditation and walking before bed
Loneliness feels like a cozy private room where you can have best one-on-one with yourself
Loneliness can smell like essential oils and taste like vanilla chocolate
Loneliness can get you into feeding flamingos and swimming with horses
Loneliness comes with a quiet mind and the tranquility of blue aquarium lights
Loneliness is the mirror where you see your true self, no mask, no make-up, no false bravado, nothing artificial
Loneliness will not allow you to fake confidence and pretend. Loneliness is the friend that never lies.
Every time loneliness knocks on the front door, I greet it with a smile. I feel at peace it is here, and it’s time to take a break from this busy life.
– How do you spoil yourself? – I was curious since my girlfriend was always tense: tight jaw, intense look, back spasms, and the ongoing fight-flight-and-freeze demeanor.
– What do you mean?
– You seem to live under too much stress all the time.
– Don’t you get that I gotta work? – She sounded awkwardly defensive and desperate trying to excuse her being in the worry box 24/7.
– How do you spoil yourself? – I repeated the question soaking a chamomile tea bag in the water.
– I have no idea, Vixen, never thought about it. What do you do for yourself?
– Everything that makes me happy.
– My job makes me happy.
– Good for you, – I finished my tea and went home, she focused on her financial reports.
When we met later that year, she looked different; no eye puffiness, no extra weight, no shortness of breath. She sounded sincere thanking me for the compliment on her appearance. Her response to my “what do you do to look beautiful?” was “I am dealing with anxiety”.
She learned to allow herself not to think too much, substituting excessive worries over performance. reviews and audits for daily treadmill running and fresh water.
She started practicing thoughts stopping focusing on breathing in and breathing out.
She overcame the fear of socializing and took several drum lessons from street musicians; rhythmic hand drumming helped relax almost getting her into trance.
She developed the habit to daily watch sunsets.
She de-stressed while coloring pages with fluorescent pencils.
She pampered herself with home foot-spa and stone massage.
She started her Mondays holding sea shells to her ears listening to the sound of waves.
She finished her busy days with sandalwood incense and meditation music in the headphones.
She stopped sacrificing the “me time” for Friday parties.
She quit drinking and totally replaced alcohol with purified water and tummy workouts.
She put valerian root in the bedroom to improve her sleep and discontinued watching action TV shows prior going to bed.
I did not respond much to her “I decided to prioritize myself, life is too short not to indulge” since she was perfectly right.
Big city. Modern fairy-tale, neon nights, and highway tie-ups.
Early mornings with over-roasted coffee on an empty stomach. Fast paced work hours, puffy eyed rainmakers, and slow service in crowded cafeterias.
Bouts of depression are combined with heavy air, traffic noise, and collar stains on designer shirts. Loneliness comes along with whiskey on water and futile attempts to feel comfortable at private parties. Before-the-alarm wake ups and ever-lasting Monday fatigue.
He moved from a small town leaving old childhood traumas for new megapolis experiences. – Don’t you understand Vixen? I need opportunities, right people, career, entertainment. I need money.
– I understand.
His life in a big city was the constant go-go of aggressive self-promotion, goal-setting, and struggles to fit in. The more he made the more he pushed for, snorting cocaine and squeezing the maximum from the chest press machine. He was the winner who hid his insecurity behind the sparkling white smile and a seemingly sunny mood.
– You gotta move forward, always move forward or you will lose.
– Who told you this crap? – I shivered wrapping myself in a shawl. The AC in his office was constantly running causing goose bumps and nasal congestions.
– You are crazy to say that.
His fear to become a loser mercilessly pushed him towards endless rat racing, which added more and more to his nervousness, impulsivity, and hopelessness. He cherished the illusion that he keeps moving up closing his eyes to the truth that he stays still.
– You can go forward, backward, up and down. It really does not matter, luv. The truth of it is you never move no matter how fast you run.
– What do you mean? – years of living in a big city shaped his skill of hiding true emotions, but I could still feel the growing irritation behind his nonchalant politeness and trendy perfume.
– You are an inferior boy who tries to show this world that you are someone big and important. You failed to prove it to your parents, nowadays, you are failing to prove it to your big bosses since no one cares. As you see, nothing has changed. You are still staying still. You are stuck, and your soul feels it.
He did not respond, and we never talked about it again.
After my friend broke up with his recent date, he was plagued and desperate.
– What was the deal breaker this same? – I knew the answer but faked curiosity since he needed someone to be here for him, someone to talk to, he looked totally distressed and heart-broken.
– She was a classic gold-digger.
– She never gave me blowjobs unless I bought her gifts.
– You look so damn sad.
– Of course, I am, – he was crumpling up an empty plastic bottle, nervously dejected, breathlessly discouraged.
– Sounds like your previous one. You kept saying she loved money more than yourself.
– Correct, and she was a whore. She looked at other guys, and she was clearly not over her ex-husband.
– The one who was before your ‘whore’, – I paused suppressing a giggle, – you told me she was all over you like white on rice
– Who, Maggie? She was freaking obsessive. She followed me with her ‘I love you’ bull 24/7.
– Lazy bitch
– Wait, – our conversation started giving me headaches, – wait, what about me?
– What about you? – he quickly threw the crushed bottle in the bin and came very close.
His smell was painfully familiar and brought memories; him and I, mountains and water, sex and cold breakfasts. I slowly stepped back, pounding heart, dry lips, and shaky hands.
– We were together, what was I?
– You were one of the biggest disappointments in my life, – he took a step forward, I stepped backward again, unwilling to further feel his smell and recall the past, our past together.
– How come?
– You only care about sex and money. You are extremely worldly, and I need a godly woman, I need the princess not a greedy hooker.
– Wait! you are a great friend… you will always be my friend, Vixen.
– I know.
I had bad news for him, the news that he would never find what he had been looking for all these years. Somehow, he fell for the fictional girl’s image blindly and obstinately chasing the illusion, feeling angry and disheartened every time the princess turned out to be an average female who expected gifts, loved money, choked on semen, and hid acne with her make-up. He wanted the goddess but met live human beings fearful and insecure with the unrealistic expectations to find the knight in shining armor so he would take care of the bills and practice monogamous sex under the blanket.
– I am hopeful you will find your princess one day, – I did not mean it, I knew it would never happen. I was just lying straight to his face, smiling, and hoping that one day he will come back, pay my rent and care about my orgasms.