I am not alone, but I am lonely…
I am desperate to be alone. To be undisturbed by the world. To sit alone and breathe without interference from the outside. The desperation is physical, aching heart, sweaty palms, teary eyes, I want to be alone. The most time I spend truly alone is the time I spend in my car driving to and from appointments. Radio off, windows up, air-con on. Even then I am not alone. I can hear the ding of my phone as I receive a message. I should’ve turned it on silent, next time, I think. The next time I will. I grab my phone, why are you interrupting my alone time? Ah my boss; if I don’t respond that I received the message she will send another text soon to remind me I need to respond that I have received her message. “Received, will do” I reply. Why am I letting my time be interrupted? Turn the damn phone off.
I stop, park, ready for my next appointment, my days are just a series of meetings, driving, more meetings, gym sessions and being a carer. I flick through messages, then onto Facebook, instagram and twitter. I am not alone, but I am lonely. I shove the phone in my bag and get out. Put on a smile, I am somewhere. Each place has the same traits. Senseless conversation, the stench of hard work or is it boredom? It is hard to tell, I am not alone. Physically I am surrounded. Suffocating, and yet I am so lonely I think my heart has gone cold.
I make it through another day in a job I have stopped enjoying. Survival has kicked in and it is now a task to work.
I make it home. One foot in front of the other. This is a nice house, nice enough. Hard wood floors, big kitchen, nice rooms, good area. All the things you want in a house. Martha enjoys it, everyday I wonder how long this illusion will last.
There is a hum, music plays. I greet my flatmates. Then Martha.
‘Hi’ she doesn’t even look up.
I ask how her day was, she speaks and our exchange is done. I haven’t been able to get what she wants for dinner from her so I just guess. Fish maybe, stir fry, who know’s, does it matter? She sits there, and I desperately want to be alone. She says nothing, does nothing, does not even move but I sense her.
“Martha, hang out the washing!” I say it with force to try stir her
“mmmmm” she replies
She does not move and I hang the washing out. I want to tell her, I want to be alone, but now I am responsible, her alzheimers affected brain will interpret that as “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE,” and she will leave, I have already learnt my lesson on that one. I want to say, Martha I am just heading out, I will be back soon. Fear stops me. If I leave I may come back to an empty house. If I leave her here with my flatmates will it look like I am taking advantage? I sit in my room, feeling trapped and lonely. She pushes the door open, I look at her, she walks back to the couch not shutting the door. I pray to whomever may be listening, please please I just want to be alone. I am so tired of being responsible. Tears start to roll down my face.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow must be better.
“If you resist it it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!”