Sunday afternoon in my apartment. I watched television and carried out some household stuff while the sunlight entered through the shades, closing an excellent day, productive and full of accomplishment. I woke up early, had a good breakfast, and enjoyed a hot shower that felt nice over my sick body. Listened out loud to music only I could appreciate. I cooked lunch effortlessly, as Carla once said while watching me do it, and took a nap right after dessert. Washed the dishes while singing along those songs that took me back to times that weren’t better but where nice nevertheless. Had some mate while ironing clothes, the ones I washed after letting them sit on the ground for some months. Yes, it was the beginning of my taking back control of my life, and it felt so good! Before dinner I decided to go for a walk. Streets were quieter than usual, full of peace and elongated shadows announcing the nightfall. And I walked dozens, hundreds of steps. I walked by the cars, by the trees, over that bridge I had crossed every day for years. And I watched the stores, at least the few still open, and the people, at least the few still out. And I breathed the cold, fresh air falling over me from my beloved mountains. And then I stopped. I stopped on my feet at the end of a street, trying to decide whether to return home or to keep walking away, to finally have a third idea: to go visit someone. Then I thought… and kept thinking, until my soul became overwhelmed by a terrible truth. I couldn’t think of anyone I would want to see, or anyone that would like to see me without a reason other than seeing me. And that day I felt alone.

Sunday afternoon in my apartment. I watch television checking the clock from time to time. I should be doing household stuff but I don’t feel like it, it’s going to be an unproductive day wasted horizontally. It doesn’t matter, I feel fine in this kind of middle-class laziness, as if staying late in bed is a right conquered in fearless fight against an evil foe. Of course, it has to come to an end, and I get off my butt to make some pancakes, the ones she liked. It’s been over six months; I forgot how much they swell… had to throw out some of them. The music I like is playing, as usual, for me and my pleasure. It’s loud but my neighbors have never complained, why should they start today? Hot water in the shower, running over this body stained with the proud marks of a training warrior. It’s getting late but I’m alert and energetic, maybe the effects of that huge mug full of my favorite coffee, or the fact that I did actually none of the activities I had planned for the weekend. I’m not sick anymore; it’s just that I don’t feel like talking to anyone. My cell phone has been off for hours, I haven’t checked my e-mail in a couple of days; I haven’t left my place in so long it feels like I’ve always been here, a piece of furniture among my cardboard boxes and the dust that covers everything. I used to have lots of visitors, now I hardly accept someone here once in a while. I switch off the lights in the other rooms and sit in front of the computer, overseeing the social coming and going of my acquaintances and friends, the unrelated activities they share with almost everyone except me. And today I don’t feel alone anymore.

Being by myself is not a tragedy, but a blessing. Loneliness is a state my soul craves. Perhaps someday I’ll meet someone able to make me forget this simple pleasure. Or even better, perhaps someday I’ll meet someone willing to share it with me. In the meantime I’ll enjoy this loneliness. You should too.