For as long as I can remember, I have been alone and a loner. One follows the other, the former then the latter; one is a situation and the other its eventual symptom. For if you are alone for too long, it is inevitable that you become a loner, the point at which one cannot ever be truly comfortable in any other company but their own. To be in crowds becomes a strain that is endured from the sidelines.  A spectator! Something- something- about virgos wanting to be alone with other people. I read that somewhere, not in the pages of a newspaper but on the internet, a subtle confession from one man to another, an admission, a pardon-me-sir but you see it is written in the stars. But, to be supposed, starsigns are books where one only underlines what resonates most with them; the rest is nonsense.

Rare are those who endear themselves to the loner, rarer still are those in whose company the loner feels truly unalone. The loner latches onto them with affection, no! with adoration! And so the loner impacts upon them an importance that the person can never understand, for they are not in the business of being a loner. When that person is removed from the loner’s life, it is as though the unbearable fardel of being alone were weighted upon them anew. They must adjust once more; lonerism, like scar tissue unveiled from beneath underwear, forgotten then remembered. The effects that might affect someone ‘normal’ only slightly are suffered disproportionately by the loner, who reels and weeps as though a limb were removed!

When I got home, I cried in the shower. It was a thick cry, one of those that strains the cheek muscles. I cried, for I did not wish to upset her, because she was such a wonderful person and to upset her would surely be a cardinal sin. Before the date I had challenged my feelings for her. It had been two months and I contemplated our future together. It was an unfortunate occasion to make that date the decider. There was no flutter in me, nor an overwhelming rush in my organs as she walked towards me. There was something missing. Something- something is important, and you cannot describe it, like a word that will not fall from the tip of the tongue. Try as you might – you might! It is the lack of something conscious, something that harks back to our subconscious and dreams, something filtered and minute after millions of years, triggered by a fleck in the deepest recesses of the brain. Something lacking in the counterpart. Turn away. And be befuddled at why? when everything seemed so good before.

I thought—But maybe I flatter myself, and she, too, feels no real connection. Maybe it is all fun to her. She does not find me attractive anymore. My mental instabilities and fragilities are tedious and unappealing. Who could stomach such things?

I realised that I was hopelessly headoverheels with H— when, in the middle of one Helsinki night, I awoke to find us knotted together in the hot water heat of her redlight bedroom. Her hair was across my nose, had been pulled into my mouth, her pubis abrasing my thigh, her body covering mine, warmth swapped with warmth, the stiff articulations of our legs entwined; we were not spread across the width of her double bed (European dimensions), but coagulated as a dream. It struck me firmly! usually I would turn away from a bedfellow, certainly my subconscious would have done so; usually I would be perspiring; would unknot myself from the tangle we found ourselves in like laundry in a washing machine, then settle on the edge of the mattress, dazed and looking elsewhere until slumber found me again. Such epiphanies are monumental for the loner. Even the halfasleep can relish such a realisation. As the mind shuffles aside groggy coke, it is flushed with happiness, for one is not so alien, so separate, but finally locates a bearing against another. There was no more than three minutes of me lying awake with her sleeping against my throat – and the throat so viciously tender, so vital, a carriageway of importance – as I smiled at myself and the geography I found myself in.
My mental instabilities and fragilities are tedious and unappealing. What kind of person could stomach such things? I never hid anything. She never made me feel like I had to. When I turned away from her in bed, she laughed that I pull myself up behind her. In sleep, I shifted.

After all the hardship she had endured, I thought she would take my most gentle ending gracefully. Instead, she sent me many messages in a row, and missed calls that I shuddered at as I spent Easter with my family. I was not accustomed to such behaviour. The level she had demonstrated disintegrated. The woman I had known reduced to a desperate girl. I did not know what to make of things. Every message I read enflamed in me a terrible anxiety. In one breath—I do not really want to continue this chat, and in the next—I think friends could work but very loosely & in a few months time. I need time away from you. I hope you understand. And then, eight minutes later—Actually - the friends vibe, that isn’t going to work for me. Sorry but much like you’re not feeling things, I can’t hang around being your friend. And then more, more, more. She fell apart before my eyes. The strength I had previously witnessed crumbled away. I pitied her, yet offered no response.

I do not feel good about how things turned out. It would have been splendid to keep her as a friend – such was her presence – but it was not to be. That is it, though: some things are not meant. Some things are meant. This was not. Still, she kept sending me messages and they kindled my anxiety.  

The loner returns to their normality. They are indifferent to the recent past. The interactions are no more than blossom; beautiful at once and then discarded, such is the order of things, the turning of seasons. The loner is only disturbed when they felt that connection, the inimitable bond between themselves and another, fierce like an eclipse, rare and unstoppable. All else becomes detritus. It was something, then it became nothing. There is an order to things. Her messages keep on coming. The way she turned, it remarks upon me as another loss in my midthirtysomethings. Who knows. I dislike how things ended up, but everything finds its way.

Undoubtedly, this will happen again. And I appear here as nothing more than heartless! Perhaps I am.

It is deep spring now. The higher temperature is felt on the wrists and nape of one’s neck. Each morning, beside the open window, I put a nose to my armpit and ensure that I am not odorous. Events become longer, drawn out. Soon the birds will nest and breed, the call of their chicks perfuming the air. The loner does not touch anything, but stares at the passing scenery.