Fortress of Solitude

August 7, 2020


It has always existed, been yours, alone.

Soft and feminine, you adore it. It has become your companion. Palpable. Serene. Lovely. You have a long-term relationship with solitude, which almost never gets old. So many people abhor solitude, likening it to loneliness, depression and even madness. Especially women, who feel others in ways you’ll never understand.

Like many parents, Sarah fears the impending emptiness of her nest. She’s not sure you’ll be in it. And neither are you. But that was the least of it. The girls. They are her everything. And soon they will be gone. Remy was in college and the other two right behind her. The girls. Sarah answered to their endless chirping like a calling. She lived deeply in their experiences, feeling every bruise, celebrating all victories, and worrying herself sick. How would she ever replace that? With you? Please.

For you, it would not be an empty nest. It was solitude.

There will always be a wall between you and devotion. You built it for protection against cruelties, both real and phantom. Over time, the mortar hardened. Now, it was virtually impenetrable. Like your father, you eventually surrendered to the fact that intimacy would never come to you the way it did for others. And like your dad you found a way to compensate. You became an underwriter. Enabling your family to have deep and fantastic experiences, even if you couldn’t.

After numerous rings it goes to voicemail, stating your father’s box “is full and cannot not accept any messages.” At first this strikes you as odd: that a retired, old man would not check his messages. Maybe he wasn’t aware he had any? That or he wasn’t bothering to check. Such inaction wouldn’t surprise you. Sometimes you don’t look at your phone for hours. It drove Sarah crazy. She thought you were ignoring her. You aren’t. You’re just not thinking about the needs of others.

To be Continued…