We Are Always Alone

Before we even become human, we spend our first nine months in the womb transforming ourselves from a fetus and potential human into a human being.
It’s not like we stop being alone after that.

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Americans seem to have some bizarre prejudice against being alone. Sometimes I would go to movies alone and a lot of people acted like that was really weird. I have moved to whole new cities all alone, just me and myself, and after I arrive in the new city, most people act like it is really weird that I up and moved to a new city all by myself with no girlfriend or wife or kids or whatever.
I often used to go hiking alone. Unfortunately, I had to tell some people that I was going hiking and where and they always acted like obviously I was going to have a really horrible time. “Have a good time!” they would order me, saying it as if they really did not expect me to have a good time at all. If you don’t think I am going to have a good time, then why tell me to have one? If you think I am going to have a bad time, why not say, “Have a bad time!”? It would make more sense, right?
Once I drove to Yosemite National Park alone on a vacation. I met some people, including a woman, almost immediately. I was over at her campsite late that night, but unfortunately there was another guy with her. As I was walking to meet that girl at that party I met some idiotic young working class men, and I told them when asked that I had come up to the park alone. They acted like that was extremely weird and obviously I was a pretty weird person for doing that.
Once I took a week-long vacation all alone. I drove for 15 hours to my destination near Lake Tahoe on the first day out of my head on LSD the whole time. Good times! I spent the whole week alone and really it was pretty much just fine. The people who saw me off once again thought that I was going to have an utterly miserable time. I mean, if you are going alone, you’re obviously going to be miserable, right?
Once I lived in an apartment with a roommate while I went to college. He tended to take off in the summer so I would have the place to myself a lot. With nothing better to do, I would sit around and smoke dope and read lots of books, especially novels. There didn’t seem to be much else to do. I was lonely a lot, but the weed and books were ok company. There were people over now and again.
The beautiful girl next door thought this was extremely bizarre, and once I heard her whispering to her boyfriend, “He stays in his apartment alone all the time smoking pot and reading books! He’s so bizarre!” Her boyfriend started laughing like, “What’s the matter with that, and soon he was knocking on the door asking for some bong hits. After he met me, he thought I was pretty normal.
It seems to be definitely not ok to eat dinner alone in a restaurant. I am not sure if breakfast or lunch is ok either. Although around here, the local Mexicans could care less and think it is totally cool if you are eating alone at any hour of the day as long as you just ordered some of their food.
Where I live right now, it is considered to be extremely bizarre to live alone. My neighbors are Hispanics, a social people who do not believe in such things. The rest are poor Blacks, and they don’t seem to believe in it either. There are also a few working class poor Whites who don’t believe in living alone either. The few divorced women around here all live with their kids. In general, poor people think living alone is extremely bizarre and if you are doing that and you are a man, you are obviously a psycho, a maniac, a predator, a child molester or a dangerous person.
I think poor people just don’t have the resources to live alone, and that’s why they think it is weird. Once people, especially White people, get some money, they often opt to live alone. It seems that living alone is seen as a luxury that can only be afforded if one has some money.
Just about the only thing that is acceptable to do alone is to drive to school, work, or a friend’s house. I suppose you can go to a bar or a nightclub alone, although a bar is probably easier. You can go to a party alone because there are going to be others there. You can always shop alone, and it’s ok to be alone at a library.
I think an example of a very healthy person would be someone who can live alone and be alone for very long periods of time (totally ok with being alone) but on the other hand, as they are not Aspies or schizoids or true loners, given the opportunity, they can live with other people for a while, either going to visit them and staying at their place or having visitors come visit you and stay at your place. When you are visiting or being visited, really you are almost never alone. The visitor or host is always right nearby. This is the opposite of being alone. This is like being in the company of others 24-7. They can travel alone or with someone else.
If you can be equally comfortable with yourself and also with sharing social space with one or more humans too, you sound like a pretty well-rounded person to me.
I think people who can’t stand to be alone are sort of weird, but maybe they are just extroverts. A lot of them just seem like dependent babies.
On the other hand, I do not think it is all that healthy to want to be alone all or nearly all the time and dislike having other humans sharing your social space. I realize there are true loners and schizoids who are like this, but it doesn’t quite sound normal as the default for a human is a capacity and desire for sociability.

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5 thoughts on “We Are Always Alone”

  1. I lived with room mates or at home until I moved to L.A. I had roommates the first year I was here. I then found it convenient to have an apartment to myself. Heaven. Nice little place in Pasadena that was affordable.
    I went and wrecked that by getting married. I did, however, bust my ass working and went ahead and got a little spot in Big Bear to get away with the fam. Out of the way, by the forest. Kids liked to go snowboarding once in a while. The novelty wore off as they got older. Bidness picked up in a way that included trips to Big Bear for me midweek and regularly. Heaven Again! I could pop up there 2 or 3 times a month for overnight or 2 nights by myself (well…dog included…). Always enjoyed the solitude. I didn’t want to leave sometimes. What I really loved about Big Bear is that it is less than 2 hours from were I live. It is close to everything L.A. has to offer, and can be as remote feeling as anywhere else in the country.
    Financial crash 2008, blah, blah, blah. Lost me my Big Bear pad. I’m not an extravagant person, I’m just not going to feel complete without another BB property in my life. Once i get turned around (light at the end of the tunnel!) I will definitely get another retreat.

  2. Example of social atomism:
    You can bet the demographic “American attractive women age 35-55” had a much greater fraction in the “solitary” ranks at any given time in 2013 than in 1955.

  3. Hey Robert, I know this is slightly off topic, but since you are a person who is very knowledgeable about a large variety of topics, one topic I have never seen you write about it is drugs (that includes ALL psychoactive chemicals like caffeine, ethanol, nicotine, opioids, cannabinoids, hallucinogens/entheogens, empatheogenics/MDMA, stimulants, depressants, and others).
    I know it can be awkward to talk about since you live alone and ignorant people can write you off by saying you do drugs (ignoring the fact that even caffeine is a drug). But, what do you think of them? Do you believe in the all the hype the government says, about how they are all life-menacing substances that can turn your brain into “mush” (what does that even mean? lol) and make you a murderer?
    Personally, I believe that all the government hype is absolutely ridiculous. It is ridiculous to say marijuana is as dangerous as cocaine, yet the feds say cocaine and meth can have medicinal uses but weed can’t! I think it boils down to politics and how the government doesn’t want:
    1) People who live for drugs
    2) People in the drug or weed or psychedelic subculture because it is typically anti-government or against the ideologies and interests of the government
    3) Political suicide, because that’s what would happen since the gov’t has fed the masses so much misinformation about drugs that anyone of the bureacrats advocating legalization of any drug in Washington would probably call his political career quits

  4. If your alone at a restaurant, then just talk to the waitresses/waiters, but be sure to tip decently.

  5. If you drink a lot, then you can have lots of friends, and the same if your rich. Nonetheless, if you want real friends you might have only a few or none.

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