Fondly: Grabbing Smoke.


I had never lived alone. For years, I was quite certain it would rest amongst my largest regrets in life. I had resigned myself to this fact. I never fully accepted it, but I was resigned, nonetheless. At night, in those waning moments before slumber I would imagine it. I would decorate and redecorate. Sometimes, the walls were exposed brick, other times, floor to ceiling windows. I dreamed of sunken living rooms, and an Eames lounge chair and ottoman. In all that time, however, I never thought about what it would actually be like. Aside from artwork and furniture I would never own, I hadn’t ever really imagined how being alone would feel. How could I, with nothing to base it upon, save for a few solitary Friday nights in high school, and those rare, temporary weekends when business called my wife away?

That wasn’t being alone; it was far too fleeting of a notion to wrap my mind around—like trying to grab onto smoke.

Hell. Even now, I still couldn’t figure it out completely.

I spent the first month in complete silence, my voice trapped within the confines of my mind. I did not want to start talking to myself…at least not this soon. I tried to fill my hours with reading, but I just couldn’t settle down and focus. The words always seemed to vibrate right off the page. I retained nothing; as if I were reading a foreign language I had never taken the time to learn.

Writing was equally futile. I just couldn’t express myself the way I used to—Ie didn’t know how I felt most of the time, other than alone.

So I sat. Quietly. I sat and did my best to feel nothing at all.


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