isolation, pt. 2

You want to know what isolation is? Isolation is coming home from a beautiful vacation with a head full of hope and landing in the airport late at night and exhausted and happy and realizing the person who promised to pick you up at the airport isn't there and won't be coming at all. It's waiting at the baggage claim and watching as everyone else slowly filters out with their families and loved ones. It's not having the money for a cab, and being too late to take public transit, and trying to sleep on your luggage until the buses start running again in the morning.

I think I had twenty dollars to my name that night. I had the evening planned out. We'd go to that 24-hour place we used to go to, and drink too much coffee and eat too much greasy food and and stay up until we were delirious. It would be a beautiful thing--except you weren't there. Instead I tried to use my carry-on as a pillow and ended up staring at the carousel for hours, far too uncomfortable to sleep--and even if I wasn't uncomfortable, how could anyone sleep when they returned to the real world and found that they had finally burned all their bridges? How could anyone sleep when they are so utterly alone?

Because I made another realization that night: this was all my own doing. I'd driven you away. I'd driven everyone away. There was no one to blame but me. In my deepest solitude, I could not even turn to myself for comfort. That's what stung most, I think. That's why I could never really forgive you.

I caught a bus in the morning and spent the last of my money on groceries. I didn't speak to another living soul for a week.

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