The Unlonely

Here I sit, utterly drenched, my progress obstructed. Who am I? What’s it to you? I don’t want to bother getting to know people, you included. I just want to be left alone to go about my business in peace, but apparently that’s too much to ask. But, since you insist on staying here and making my life even more unpleasant than it already is, just keep quiet and listen.

I don’t like people. I’ve never enjoyed the company of others; they’re always so shallow, their minds preoccupied by such vacuous, base things as sex and money and food and the thinly-veiled tribalism of sports. I have no stomach for all of that bullshit. There’s the incessant platitude: “Oh, well, you just haven’t found the right people,” to which I reply, “That’s a crock of shit right there.” I have put far more effort than I care to admit into trying to socialize and open up with others, and I may as well have tried to teach Japanese to a bunch of dogs. I can’t be bothered with all of that, and the loneliness has long ceased to bother me. I function best alone, and I intend to keep it that way.

Naturally, I go out of my way to avoid interacting with anyone, as the mere sight of people tramping about thoughtlessly – eroding whatever scraps of a soul they have away through the glow of advertising and apps from their smartphones – pisses me off. I’ve taken to staying in my room and managing my finances – which are none of your goddamn business, thank you very much – throughout the day, when the streets outside of my apartment swarm over. During powerful thunderstorms (especially when they occur late at night), however, I’ll go out for a walk. Being amidst the wrath of nature that frightens all the others away fills me with a sense of serenity, and, as much as I enjoy my work and hobbies, those walks are probably the high points of my life.

Yet, as I find myself underneath the heart of this current storm, I’m gripped with loathing and frustration. Some girl has ventured out into the violence, prancing around a chokepoint in the path up ahead of me. She’s got one of those yellow raincoats and a godawful pair of neon pink galoshes to match. The thunderclaps are loud enough to hurt MY ears, but this bitch is skipping around as though this were some rainbow-hung sidewalk of puddles, spoiling one of my painfully infrequent opportunities for a true appreciation of life. All I want is to walk in solitude in the rain, but apparently even that is asking for too much.

Of course, now things have taken a turn for the worse. Despite my best efforts to stay out of sight, she spotted me and walked right up to me with this shit-eating grin plastered on her face.

“Hi there! I’m Kate. What’s your name?”

“Fuck off.” I tried to walk past her, but she hopped back in front of me. Clearly, she was dead-set on ruining my mood.

“Hey, that’s not very nice! You shouldn’t be so grouchy.” She put her hands on her hips and frowned, sticking out her bottom lip. Does she think she’s being cute or something?

“Leave me alone.” Again, she cuts me off. “God dammit, what is this? Do you want money or something?”

“No, silly! I want to be your friend!” The grin returned briefly, vanished. “I’ve seen you out here whenever it rains, and you were always by yourself. I thought, maybe, you were lonely and could use some company!” A vein of lightning zipped by, the explosion of thunder startling her and easing my mood.

“Listen, Kelly, let me be and go stalk someone else before I call the police on you!”

This girl had no fear of the authorities, it seemed. “Hey, I’m trying to be nice, but you keep being a jerk. And it’s Kate, not Kelly! Come on, can’t we be friends? Or buddies, or pals, or ch-“

“No! What don’t you understand about ‘leave me alone’?”

“I’m not leaving you alone until you agree to hang out with me. It’s for your own good, you meanie.”

Much to my dismay, I couldn’t get away from her; she kept grabbing the back of my coat or popping up to block my path. Since running away wasn’t an option, I took another approach. “Jesus fucking Christ, fine, we can meet up for coffee or something.”

Kate clapped her hands and spun around in a remarkably annoying fashion. “Yaaay! OK, I’ll see you at the Starbucks on the corner of 16th Street tomorrow at 3! Don’t be late, Mr. Pottymouth!” She skipped off into the gloom, but the atmosphere of my walk remained irreparably tarnished, and I returned home feeling worse than when I had left.


As you probably guessed, I have absolutely no intention of meeting with this Kate, especially at motherfucking Starbucks of all places. I have no compunction about lying if it means avoiding other people, especially someone as irritating as that girl. Honestly, who waits outside in the middle of a storm to make friends with someone who very obviously wants to be alone? Hell, she basically coerced me into it, since I couldn't leave until I had agreed. For someone who claims to be trying to help me, she's rather inconsiderate; she didn't check to see if the time she rattled off was convenient or workable for me, for fuck's sake.

If you ask me, people like her are more selfish than anything else. They insist to you and to themselves that they're doing you a favor, but are really acting for their own self-satisfaction. They have this mindset that nobody wants to be lonely and that everyone wants friends, and they feel good about themselves when they pester someone into spending time with them: “I made this other person not lonely! I'm such a good person!” Or, more disgustingly, they hunt down solitary individuals that they find attractive, then befriend them with the hopes that they'll get gratitude sex for “assisting” with the loneliness. Ugh, I sure as hell hope that's not what that girl wants. I think I might vomit from the thought alone.

Either way, when nighttime arrived, the storm system picked up strength and began ravaging the city again. Nature had taken pity on me and was offering recompense for making me endure that shit with Kate. Of course, she'd know by now that I had lied straight to her face about that meet-up, so I suspected that she'd be lurking around my standard walking path again to confront me over it. Thus, I stepped outside and walked in the direction opposite the path I typically take. I'll be damned if I put up with any more of that bullshit.

What doesn't make any sense to me is why someone would automatically assume that a person who is alone is also lonely. Haven't they heard of solitude before? Are they unfamiliar with the concept of a lone wolf? Apparently, I've been giving other people too much credit; I assumed they had at least enough brains to realize when a person wants to be alone, and that they'd have enough respect for their fellow man to let that person be. But no, society expects me to be like the main character of some shitty romantic comedy, where I have a hare-brained female companion who not only acts as a foil for me, but also has some asinine goal like getting me to “explore the mysteries of my life”. Being alone isn't permitted.

Speaking of which, that trope never fails to piss me off. It assumes that, through interacting with this foil, the protagonist learns to love life and becomes a cheery, friendly person just like them, which would be hilarious if it weren't so infuriating. Just because I'm solitary doesn't mean that I hate my life, nor does it mean that I'm lonely.