A Conversation with Self about Solitude

It’s Valentine’s Day. A messy bedroom. Self is lying on a messy bed looking out a messy window. The other Self comes in, looking rather…well…messy.  

Self sits down on the bed and waits for the reader of the blog to turn on some sad music to serve as the soundtrack to this blog post. Perhaps some Lianne La Havas.

Me: Hey.

Me: Hey.

Me: I’m sorry.

Me: What are you sorry about?

Me: You know. Not being in touch with you. With us. Our body.

Me: Well…it’s your funeral. Or ours. Whatever.

Me: No, seriously. We haven’t spoken in a while. I was brushing our teeth…

Me: Which you do a splendid job of, by the way…

Me: Why, thank you. And I realized I’ve been such an asshole.

Me: We don’t have to do this, you know? Force ourselves. I remember one of our friends telling us about her divorce. She looked at her partner and realized she didn’t have to hate this person anymore. So she ended it.

Me: How would you end things with me?

Me: You know…check out. Disconnect. Maybe get sick. Maybe get seriously sick. Or feel nothing. There are so many choices.

Me: You think I hate you?

Me: Kinda. Sorta. Yes. Absolutely.

Me: Oh fuck.

Me: It’s pretty obvious. We don’t have alone time anymore. All of those distractions.

Me: I’m busy. We know this.

Me: No I know this. You don’t seem to care.

Me: I don’t like it when you talk about yourself like you’re alone.

Me: I’m happy alone. I love solitude. Remember those hours and hours spent imagining stories? It was like there was a movie playing up in the clouds, and we had the best seat. It was like the words kept coming. Like the dialogue was ongoing.

Me: That’s called disassociation. That movie playing up in the clouds wasn’t a choice. It was a survival tactic. It kept us safe during unsafe times.

Me: I know. But what’s your survival tactic now?

Me: I’m working on not playing that movie in our head anymore.

Me: That’s not what I’m talking about.

Me: What? The others?

Me: Exactly. The others. The many others. The space fillers.

Me: What’s wrong with having company?

Me: What’s wrong with silence?

Me: What’s wrong with enjoying myself?

Me: What’s wrong with sitting with yourself.

Me: You mean you.

Me: I don’t like it when you talk about me like I’m not a part of you.

Me: Now you know what it feels like.

Me: I already knew. I feel everything. Do you know what it’s like to enjoy space? To not have it filled? To be with yourself? Like really with yourself?

Me: I used to.

Me: You know that feeling in your stomach when you’re hoping someone will call, or someone will text, or someone will compliment you, or someone will be with you at an event, or someone will dance with you, or fuck you, or hold you? And when the thing you hope for comes and goes you’re back to searching and searching? That’s where you are now.

Me: What’s wrong with longing?

Me: What are you longing for?

Me: If I…I want to show people that the hard choices I made…all the pain of coming out…all the pain of being who I am was worth something. That I made the right decision.

Me: The decision to be queer?

Me: Yes.

Me: And being in partnership changes this?

Me: It means I get to attend family gatherings without people worrying about me. It means I get to answer questions with answers they want to hear.

Me: Like “I’m great! I met a really nice person”?

Me: Exactly.

Me: You seriously think that would change once you’re in partnership? We’ve seen this. Partners are criticized for their choices around commitment. Committed partners are criticized for their choices around parenthood. Parents are criticized about how they parent. This goes on and on until the funeral when they say “Who chose this god awful casket?!” Is this what you want?

Me: What do you want?

Me: I would love for us to sit with each other. Lie with each other. Even for five minutes. Every day.

Me: I don’t want to isolate myself.

Me: There’s a difference between isolating yourself and giving yourself alone time. Choosing to be alone is the choice to rejuvenate. I’m asking us to be together. To feel each other. To rejuvenate as one.

Me: Just us?

Me: Just. Us. Does that scare you?

Me: Well…What if that special person I’ve been messaging on Facebook contacts me? It is Valentine’s Day after all and I was hoping they’d ask me out.

Me: I think you’ve been on Facebook long enough. It will still be there after we’re done.

Me: Can I at least bring my phone?

Me: Hell no. Are you sorry or what?

Me: You’re right. Let me put it away.

They lie together.

Me: Well? How does that feel so far?

Me: Kinda nice.

Me: That’s all?

Me: No really. I really like it. I miss you. I miss us.

Me: I miss us too. Can I tell us something?

Me: Are you going to make us cry?

Me: Most likely. Listen. Okay? You don’t need that movie in your head anymore. It can be a choice. Nor do you need those space fillers. We’re here now. We’re in this together. Can you feel us?

Me: Yes.

Me: Are we breathing?

Me: We weren’t until you mentioned it, thanks. Pause. Oh great. Now we’re crying.

Me: Good. But are we breathing?

Me: We are.

Me: Let’s keep going.

They lie together.

Me: Is it always going to be this sad? Being in solitude?

Me: When you get used to it, it feels pretty damn amazing. Want to watch a video about it?

Me: Sure.

Me: You know that person who wrote us into being for this blog? That person we saw whose naked picture went viral?

Me: Of course. That is one hard working pussy.

Me: Isn’t it ever? Anyway…she made a video about just how funny it can be to practice self love.

Me: Fire it up. We need a laugh.

Reader puts away media to sit with themselves and breathe. Maybe they cry. And that’s okay.

The End.

photo of Nazbah Tom by Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is one of our Thinkers in Residence here on the blog – look for her column at more or less the same time every month. She is a twice-published playwright, single mama and brown femme. Her children’s book, M is for Mustache: An ABC Pride Book will be published by Flamingo Rampant Press and is most definitely part of her gay agenda.

Read all posts by Catherine Hernandez

One Response to A Conversation with Self about Solitude

  1. CRS says:

    Thank you. Just thank you for your writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *