On Defining Loneliness

The lone dying plant outside my apartment is the bat signal to potential partners saying, “I don’t know how the fuck to take care of another living thing, but I’m kinda sorta trying.”

It’s the same half-hearted invitation as the decorative chair in my living room, the one no one ever sits in because I purposely placed it in a corner to antagonize my guests but felt really domestic for buying; or, the 7 PM booty call in which I let you know in advance my ass won’t still be raring to go by the time you get around to replying with the phallic vegetable emoji of your choosing but, like, I’m thinking about you.

Decoding my language is not that difficult. When I say, “I’m lonely,” I mean I’ve finished the tenth season of Friends for the tenth time and miss the comfort of background noise as I sob into a Wendy’s 4 for 4 meal wondering why I’m getting fat. “Lonely” means I’ve gotten so good at replaying the moans of past lovers I’ve convinced myself making out with my upper arm while jacking off to the thought of career stability is better than actual sex.

My mom says I should get a puppy but what she’s really saying is, “Why do you go to therapy when there are normal ways to be happy?” Remind her even if I was ready to know what it felt like to be loved unconditionally by someone other than my mother, picking up a golden doodle’s not-so-golden shits is unlikely to make years worth of low self-esteem just dandy.

I’ve started feigning physical illness so often I’m overdue for one hell of a karmic influenza breakdown but it doesn’t really matter because I get more sympathy when my body can’t move than when my mind can’t stop racing. “Lonely” means I don’t want your company but I’ve started to hate my own; wish there was a way of cancelling plans with myself without having to call it suicidal ideation; remind myself I’m not necessarily alone in these thoughts but then again… isn’t that what I wanted?

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