It’s a funny thing, to be alone. It’s not at all like we imagine it, either. Our dreams of relaxing on a moonlit beach, the silence ringing in our ears, they aren’t real. Or maybe we dream less drastically – maybe all we want is to lounge in an empty flat, unbothered by the noise and clutter of others. That’s not real, either, though. The real thing – the real prospect of being absolutely, completely alone – is much bigger, and much more intense.
First, you will feel the fear. You will realise that relaxation is impossible because that moonlit beach is haunted by shadows. The silence is there, but it isn’t blessed; it’s thick and crushing, pushing in on you louder than any shout or drumbeat ever could. You glance nervously behind you, terrified of everything that you can’t control, just as you do in that empty flat, because that’s not safe, either. It creaks, and makes strange noises that make you jump and stare at the door.
After the fear, you will relax, but it’s not peaceful. It’s unearthly. You disconnect with your material self as you contemplate much greater things – much scarier things. You almost forget who you are. You aren’t a person with a body anymore; there are just your thoughts, and your thoughts are you.
I stand on the precipice, none but the birds to keep me company, and as I stare down, the shadows dancing in my mind’s eye, I feel myself slip forwards, outside of my body and into my mind. I imagine myself falling, but it’s not real. All that’s real is me – my thoughts – the pointlessness of it all.
And how I don’t want to be alone anymore.