Things have been. . . ( #galp )

working towards this for a long time.

The Great American Loneliness Project

( #galp )





one of them

One of us

(Where most people live, but)


People Think.

There are two sides to every story.

And it would seem that as Americans (defined by the author as those living in america. . . mostly because the disillusion is cross cultural, intra cultural and a product of function in american society: Therefore, I mean all sentient beings functioning in American society, that being said, perhaps even our dogs and dolphins and transplanted gorillas and so called higher mammals are different by proxy of this notion. . . however, I digress. . . ) . . . It would seem that as Americans,  we are drawn to individualism but seek to quell the correlative notion of loneliness. Others strive for a togetherness found in collective and communal behavior (teams, clubs, sports).

We are walking dichotomies of social ties and social confinement strategies. Setting ourselves apart in hopes of inclusion in an elite sector of those set apart by way of their self reliance, talent and fundamental aptitude for loneliness.

The Being Able to Do It Alone. . . that is what we strive for. We want to be able to do with out one another. . . as though that proves anything.  I remember a bar side conversation with a chef one winter night now years ago. . .

I’ve just finished my shift and am sitting at the bar where I work. The tall beer that sits in front of me drips condensation on to a dirty coaster. It is not yet ten o’ clock. I turn back to Eli, the chef, and say, “I think sometimes we do things that will hurt us so that we can show people that we hurt in a more obvious way.”

“I believe they wouldn’t believe us if we just told them in the first place,” Eli amends. This all has something to do obliquely with his life at this point: his guilt, his prospects and their intersections.

“They wouldn’t.” I tell him. We clink glasses and drink.

He kisses me on the cheek as he leaves.

Eli has always impressed me. His winning smile. His bright eyes. There is a boyish charm about him that I only assume to be covering something deep seated.  There is something about him in which I identify. He has a manner of self-mutilation that is entirely self aware.

He leaves to meet his mistress.


It is true also that sometimes I think to myself: “I was much more interesting when I was sad all the time.” Nowadays I ammend to that thought that I am a much better person/friend/lover when I am happy.

But then I think about the community that loneliness attracts. The famous are with the famous because they are alienated by the same demons. This is why the religious cling together, this is why the sad and conflicted (like the chef and I) find ourselves together. We are ugly together, just as we are beautiful together.

For me the interesting thing about The Great American Loneliness Project ( #galp ) is not the dichotomous nature of Indivudualism versus Community. It’s the universality of the experience, the spectral notion, the lack of mutual exclusivity that lives deeply ingrained in the very question of human experience.

Hmm. . . I need another cup of coffee.



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