Thoughts of solitude

We are our best friend and our worst enemy. We take our first breath alone and we breath in for the last time… alone. Solitude saves us; solitude condemns us; solitude kills us.

When I was five years old I found my best friend looking back at me from behind the mirror, smiling, goofing around while I brushed my teeth, making faces and laughing at my jokes. Soon enough that cute, curly-haired girl became indispensable to me. She taught me how to enunciate words, how to create big speeches for the world to hear, how to laugh when tears where making their way on my cheeks. She told me to never trust anyone but her and she listened to terrifying stories that were never to be spoken again. She spoke to me about true love, humanity, and kindness. She promised me the world, she promised me peace.

When two decades passed since I took my first breath, the little girl abandoned me. Her shadow was still reflected in the mirror, but her spirit had died. She avoided my gaze, my smiles, my tears. She didn’t trust me anymore. I had disappointed her. Every night I searched for her words, every night I called out her name; all was in vain. I searched for her in writings, scribbled pieces of paper, long forgotten notebooks.

As any good friend, I moved on and forgot about her. I replaced her with new faces and bodies. I took on the challenge to trust other human beings. After one, three, ten different new faces, 20 different betrayals and who knows how many disappointments I gave up on humans. I gave up on friendship. I fooled myself that I could live without people. I locked myself in an imaginary world, creating its every corner, its every mountain and blade of grass. Life was beautiful again.

Three decades knocked on my door. I glanced into the mirror and grinned at the gray hairs that betrayed the passing of time. Suddenly, I saw her winking at me. The sparkle in her eyes, the smile on her face, her kind words invaded my whole being like a giant hug. We talked for hours, we laughed, we cried. I woke up the next morning and ran to see her. The person looking back at me had wrinkled skin like a crumpled piece of paper, her hair was now white as snow, her eyes tired and sad. She was dying.

It only takes a second to loose yourself. It takes decades to find yourself in the huddle you’ve created.

PS. Don’t forget to wink at yourself tomorrow morning: “You rock!”

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