Thoughts by Richard Bleil
As I write this, two young college students are cleaning my house. They’re from a service that I hired, deciding to have them give my old new house a good thorough cleaning.
It’s rare to have a woman (let alone two) in my house. Maybe that’s why (as of the writing of this post) I’m reflecting on my own mortality, situation and the pending termination of my life. Even as a young man, the only thing I never wanted was to live my life alone, and yet, here I am. That fear is likely what led to the one time that I was married. I was so tired of being alone that I picked up on the first woman willing to marry me knowing it was a poor match. For two years, I was not alone.
Today, I find myself reflecting on how alone I truly am. I often joke that they’ll know when I’m dead because of the flies collected at the door trying to get to my decaying corpse, but it’s really not much of a joke. I do have friends who would wonder, honestly, why I’m not active on social media or have not heard from me, but aside from that, I’m not sure if anybody would notice.
This sounds like a self-destructive and sad post. I guess there’s a component to that, but I’m not feeling nearly as depressed as this is sounding. I’m not going to say I feel happy by any stretch of the imagination, but neither am I particularly depressed. The interesting thing to me is the feeling of acceptance that has swept over me since I’ve begun writing this post.
Many years ago I was in an auto accident where I was at a cold stop and watched her as she came up behind me and crashed into my car at about sixty miles per hour. I knew, when I realized that she just didn’t see me, that I was going to die. Being brainwashed by every television show and movie where care crashes always result in fiery explosions and my high school friend who kindly pointed out the fuel tube clearly visible in the trunk and telling me it would explode on a rear-end collision, for a moment I knew I was going to die. She would hit me, the car would burst into flames, and I wouldn’t have to finish that report for work tomorrow after all.
Far from being frightened or upset, in that moment I was just calm. I accepted the inevitability (obviously a false narrative in my mind) and that was okay. It was over.
That’s kind of how I am feeling right now. It’s over, and I just accept this inevitability. I’ve not lived the happiest of lives. What I’ve wanted out of life I never achieved, and yet, I did lead an interesting life. I’m accomplished, and if I die alone that’s really okay. It’s just inevitable at this point. I guess I don’t have to worry about that race to find a partner anymore. The pressure is off. That report is done.
For my friends, I guess I should state categorically that I’m fine. I have no self-destructive plans, and I am feeling fine. Well, maybe not fine, but good enough. I won’t be dead by the time this posts I can almost guarantee. The men in my family (on my father’s side) have a habit of living very long lives. My grandfather was a centenarian, and my father lived well into his eighties. I’m fine, and I’m not particularly blue.
But I do understand loneliness. Sadly, you don’t even have to be alone, as I am, to be lonely. When I was married, I was very lonely. Yes, we had an active and adventurous sex life (her sex life was more active than mine as it turns out) but loneliness isn’t related to sex. The problem is that we never had that emotional, supportive, partner to partner connection that makes for truly happy relationships. I know many of my friends have found that, but I also have friends who, like me, never have. The most heartbreaking thing I’ve seen is when I have friends with spouses who are still alone. There is a distinct difference between a wife or husband and a roommate, which is what I had in my marriage.
Well, this is a perfectly depressing post. If you’re alone, as I am, please know that there are others out there who share your pain and know your burden. Reach out if you have to but stay with us. We need you.