“I have been licking the cream off
The nothing I was forced to cook from the book I bought.
I am Charles Bukowski waiting to rupture,
And tumble into forces of uncontrolled madness.
I dinge into fleeting, changing rooms
And become pages of yellowing, worm-books.
I write my own obituaries, each for a different
Person I have lived.
I make love twice every week,
And keep a count of how many times
He calls out someone else’s name.
I caution into keeping everything beautiful to myself.
I cup my hands and keep passion in my hidden chest,
And lock my doors with the only key there is.
I dine alone, I read in hushed whispers over single-serving thoughts.
And sleep where no one can put an arm around my waist,
And undulate the black-flavoured dreams I so carefully reared.
There is only one victory,
There is only one woman in the world.
It is I. It is I. It is I.”
I came across the “saddest book in the world” in an internet rage less than a week ago. It was called “Microwave cooking for one”, and according to the author, there were many aspects to the melancholy of the book and the leading one was that there were actual recipes in the book. This combined with my mother’s distress at my refusal to understand why dining alone was unnatural and awkward, inspired me to post about the sad demise of loneliness.
We live in a world right now where digital media has begun to rule what was once considered the sharing of activity between friends (real friends as opposed to people who are friends because of nothing but a mere click of the mouse). We share everything there is to share – music, books, quotes, thoughts, ideas, poetry, and the worst of all – entire lives. A friend once told me she thought it gave her immense gloom to see a person dining alone. This not only shocked me, it shook me to my bones. Writers have given me the scope to look for romanticism in loneliness, because after all, a lone diner should always assume to be the receiver of the best intended human emotion – indifference. But the truth is, these writers and poets lied to me when they talked of people’s reactions. There will be one person in a full restaurant that will choose to pity me when I go to enjoy food without the burden of talk that is neither meaningful, nor sincere.
I am keeping my favourite songs to myself. I am not talking of my favourite book to anyone else they steal what I feel. I am never telling anyone what my favourite movie is; else they begin to love it as much as I do. There is much too mendacious love in the world as it is. I will not reveal my most loved poetry; or I will find persons encroaching into lines that were meant only for me.
But what I do have to suggest is this: ask yourself this – when was the last time you kept something for yourself? Or when was the last time you genuinely enjoyed your own company and didn’t want the love-date to end? And finally ask yourself this – how far can you go before you condemn loneliness? Why even wonder if you can live alone? The truth of the matter is that you are alone. We humans were never meant to carry figments of people too far into our lives, and we are given proofs of this again and again when we find ourselves looking for that little bit more in every scenario life throws at us. We are all fearful of our safety, of the safety of the bubble we create for ourselves inside which we are free to commit crimes for our happiness. But this fear has brought us closer to each other, so close that we are afraid that if we do not shout out every thought our mind can conceive, we will never be heard or looked at. Or admired.
I hope dearly that when I think that out of all the judgment we have reserved, the only one that matters is the harshest judgment I can offer myself, I think correct. So many people have convinced themselves that they are the right judges of themselves, but this quote sums up exactly what I feel of it.
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”
– Stephen M.R. Covey
To fully become free of every inhibition we hold, it is required that you be your harshest critic. This means never being able to forgive ourselves, and it is, hence, the saddest life to have. But it is also the richest, the greatest, the fullest, and the best. Dining alone is just the start; we all must learn to die alone.
So next time you tell someone you love them, ask yourself if you have ever loved yourself enough to declare so.