The subject of loneliness is one that intrigues me.
It probably affects all of us at one time or another, whether as a result of imposed or elected solitude or, as can often be the case, in consequence of finding oneself alone in an unhappy relationship or a crowded room.
Sylvia Plath wrote: So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.
Here's a short vignette about isolation and loneliness.
This guy I knew back then, he hurt me, but when he left he gave me singing birds, two of them: beauties, real pretty. I named them for my folks, Jim and Em.
They’re both long gone, my Mom and Dad: died when I was young, but I remember them. Good Christian folk who probably got their own wings now, up there in Heaven with the Lord.
They sing to me, my pretty birds, and I sing back to them: songs without proper words, just crazy tunes that come into my head.
I don’t go out these days. I stay indoors to feed my birds, clean out their cage, and some days I sit all day long and watch them while they preen and groom each other. Jim and Em: my pretty birds that never fight or squabble.
Nobody comes to visit now and I avoid neighbors. With nosy folk, I disengage, back off, then shut the door.
It’s best that way, just me and the birds.
Here I reside. Five floors above the sidewalk in a nest of sky: me and these flightless birds that sing so sweet and never say a word about my face, the scars, my sightless eye.