Loneliness isn’t a unique experience as a human. We all want to be loved, to be touched, to be wanted. I look around and see that the need to not be alone spans from newborn babies to the oldest person. My son gravitates towards me when he sleeps, searching for me with his entire body until he finds me and then sighs back into a deeper sleep. We are all lonely and we all desire inclusion, sometimes sacrificing our own happiness to remain included.
We reach out to people, hoping they can assure us that what we feel isn’t unique to us. We want our feelings validated. “Oh, yeah, I feel like that sometimes too.” We breath a sigh of relief that causes our anxiety to abate briefly until we have another experience that threatens to isolate us. No one likes being an outlier.
But aren’t we all outliers? We all have difference experiences and feelings; different morals and ethics and chemical cocktails in our brains that cause differences in how we react to situations.
The man from Blue Hawaii tried to convince me to sleep with him last year. He slid his hand up my leg when I was in his car. When I removed his hand, he said, “Don’t you miss being touched?” As he is a master manipulator, I knew he was trying to appeal to the loneliness that we all experience. He moved his hand back under my skirt. For the first time in my life, I acknowledged the loneliness and decided that I would rather be alone than experience shallow inclusion with someone like him. I got out of the car.
I know that people will preach that we need to learn to be alone, to make ourselves happy. Well, we can do that. We can spend our time with ourselves, reading, practicing origami, working out, becoming our own best friend, and still desire a hug that promises inclusion. However, at the end of the night, when our lovers are touching us as they fall asleep, gently snoring, we lay awake and realize that we are still so alone, in or out of the car.