I like solitude. It allows me to be myself. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to be someone other than myself.
It’s nice to just be comfortable in my own skin. Because then, my thoughts can wander and meander as they like. No restrictions, no censorship. No distractions. I could live out weeks all by myself.
Or so I used to think.
Since the past few weeks, I miss being alone. I’m quarantined, of course. Under a lockdown. All public activity is put on hold and social distancing is enforced. That’s great for someone who likes solitude.
But then, why does it affect me so much? Because there are ‘others’ around me.
Sharing physical spaces is more than just being roommates or flatmates or living under the same roof with your blood relatives. It also means their thoughts wander and meander too. Bumping in to my thoughts and derailing them.
They think out loud too. Sometimes like an annoying whispering at the end of the room. Often roaring crescendos muffling everything else. Their thoughts walk too, often crisscrossing the trails of my thoughts and tainting them. Changing them. Like a storm changing the course of a ship.
These alien thoughts get trapped in the web of my thoughts too. They stick to mine, calcifying as if they were my known. Now my thoughts aren’t adrift anymore. They’re tethered. Reined in. They check themselves lest they collide with the thoughts of others.
They are censored; I don’t want others to think them or feel how I feel. I don’t want to feel what they do or think what they do.
I like solitude. But this solitude seems like a having a zone of inhibition. Yes, they can still wander. But it’s more likely they’ll hit an invisible wall. A wall built by the thoughts of others. Or worst, they’ll manifest as a wall themselves.
I don’t know if that’s good for anyone. Having walls.
We can be contained in walls of brick and mortar and concrete.
But to have walls around our thoughts. Or be walled in our thoughts.
That’s not solitude. That’s loneliness.
And no one should be lonely.