a new loneliness


ago
1 min
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5

Surprisingly, there are more people outside now: the parks, the streets, the front yards. An order to stay at home has prompted people to take more walks, to redesign their gardens. In the beginning, we all stayed home. We all forced ourselves to find things around the house or online, where we can lose ourselves. But soon, it is evident that the walls of our houses were becoming boring, repetitive. The home workouts suddenly weren’t so satisfying anymore, and we were running out of shows to watch. Even Facetimes with our friends comprised of more silence than socializing. We’ve run out of things to do, to talk about, even to think about. For some excitement, some people shop. The new items bring a bit of change and entertain us for a while. We begin to miss school.

We miss walking, maybe running, from class to class. We miss randomly seeing friends around campus. I took a trip to my high school a few days ago. I’ve seen the school empty before. But never like this. I could feel the loneliness of it all. It was too clean and too silent. Walking the path I’ve taken for granted brought up memories I didn’t even know I had. Snippets of my life at this high school flashed in my mind, and I realize all of them are happy memories. The virus has taken away my ability to say goodbye to my friends and my teachers properly, but it has left me with good memories. The feeling of wishing to be back at school makes all my memories of it seem a little bit more positive, and I begin to appreciate even the awkward moments. Because at least in those moments, I was surrounded by people I know and love.

Sometimes when I’m bored, I’ll imagine what would be happening if nothing had changed. What would prom have been like? What songs would be played or what food would be served? Which classes would I be struggling with? Where would I be sitting in each class? The scene I imagine over and over again is simple. I’m in the middle of the stream of people going to class, trying to avoid bumping into each other as they chat with their friends. I recognize some faces, but mostly their strangers. It’s a sea of color, people’s outfits blurred by their movements. And it’s a sea of noise. The noise is surprisingly what I miss the most. The laughing and the casual talk, even if it’s not my own.

5

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Tony Martello · ago
I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the irony of such a huge event. Wonderful description. My full support-5 votes. Check out my entry, "Maize of Color" in the short fiction category and vote if you like it! Tony