I stayed too long in the city.  I know people like me.  People that are around my age.  Some of them are HIV positive, some are not, some have addictions, some don’t, all are alone, some are lonely, some don’t feel lonely.  They like to be alone.  Some people like being alone. I see people withdraw because they have no money.  Some people withdraw because they have no choice.  Some people are withdrawn.  People that are alone often are lonely. If you are in pain you spend time alone.  When you are in pain and with your friends sometimes you start feeling lonely.  When you are in pain you are often lonely.  I like to spend time by myself.  I spent a lot of time with myself.  I like to get to know people.  I spend a lot of time by myself so I get to know people.   I would like to take courses so I can learn something new or have therapy.  If you are in pain or if you are HIV positive or if you have no money then it is not easy to spend time taking courses or money to have therapy.  I’d like to get to know myself better.  I like to spend time alone.  I spend time alone so I can get to know myself better. Some people work.  Some people volunteer.  Some people do one thing or another.  Some people do neither.  Some people do both.  People like to judge a book by its cover.  I was alone.  Some people are lonely.  I spent time alone so I could be by myself spending time alone in the city.  I stayed in the city too long and I didn’t know who I was so I was alone and didn’t know what else was happening. I didn’t like who I was becoming.  I spent time with myself so I wouldn’t know who I was or who I may becoming. I would have had like to have had time to myself so I could do nice thing for other people but I would have had to have had money so that I could get outside of myself and spend time outside with others.  I didn’t know who I was but I know what I was told.  I was aware at all times of who I was and I was allowing myself to explore what would become of me if I was alone versus what would become of me if I was with another . I was told who I was by others who were not alone because they were with me when I was alone when they told me about theories they had about others. Some people smoke pot.  Some people do chemicals.  Some people do one and not the other.  Some did yoga and volunteered and were engaged.  Others didn’t do yoga and were not engaged. Some people had cell phones but no coverage.  I stayed in the city too long because I thought I would start making money and when you start making money then you can go out and start spending  time doing things that you like with others.  If it’s not one thing then it’s another.  I spent so much time by myself that it was easy to do neither.  The people on the street stayed up all night and sometimes they would sit on my front porch because they thought my building was empty.   My building felt  empty so some people sat on the porch.  Sometimes when I was lonely I would sit on my porch.  I was in pain.  Sometimes I slept a lot and then I wasn’t in pain.  I was in pain but not very often.  I was alone but that was because the building I lived in was empty. I am fucked up. I am normal. In my world fucked up is normal. If you are one then you are the other.

artwork: tender affection by greyfin

13 thoughts on “Affection

  1. Hugs my friend, I understand the loneliness and feeling trapped. Depression takes me there, many other illnesses leave in in bed all day. Today is an example, I’ve been in bed for two weeks wanted to care, no energy to care just stair at wall. The decision to take a vacation was perfect for new scenery and alone time and more important meeting new people. We have to push harder than normal to climb the mountain. I’m sending big hugs. M

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  2. I enjoy your reflections, Harlon. We can be alone in crowds, and we can feel completely and intimately connected with life when we’re alone. Circumstance doesn’t seem to control this entirely. But I think maybe a city, teeming with people we don’t know, creates a weird sensation about whether we’re truly connected or connecting. There’s a lost in the shuffle thing that happens. And this line made me laugh, because of the irony that came through it, “Some people had cell phones, but no coverage.” Isn’t that it in a nutshell?

    Peace, brother–

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