On Being Old and Alone

It is interesting to make the switch from crying about what happened to crying about surviving what happened. It is more interesting still to do it alone, and to realize that what happened is the reason why, that you have made yourself alone.

I think that I used to be greatly saddened by my experiences. Not to say I’m not still. Some of them are quite sad. But now it’s more sad to be through them and be alone. I don’t want to be that. Alone.

I think that I will write a lot of books. I don’t know that they will all be published. But some will. These are the kind of books that will tell a story, that will rock a world like this one (Bastard Out of Carolina) has rocked mine. But they will be banned. They will be a story that people will want to silence. Some day, probably many years after they’re written, they will finally be taught. People will read them and learn from them. And then they will want to burn them or stab them with pointy stick. But the stories? They will be.

However, I think I’ll be alone. I do not really know how to love another person. How to really let a person in. Not to say I don’t try. I know how to CARE. I care about the friends I have, but they are all far away. And there’s no time. There’s not enough time to touch base. To talk. To really connect.

People become writers in order to tell stories. But it’s lonely, to be a writer. We make writers groups. (That we don’t go to). In the end, we write alone. I am a writer. And I want to tell my story. But I don’t want to be alone. Yet, I make myself this way. Three classmates invited me to the bar. I didn’t go. I joked that if they went on Friday, I would. (I wouldn’t.) People talk to me, and I say stupid things in response. I am horribly socially awkward and shy, and I let myself become this way. I let my experience be an excuse to be alone.

They say writing is a solitary profession. That’s the truth. But it’s something that we have to work hard to change. We need to make time. We need to go out. We need to make new stories. I don’t want to be old one day and realize that this story is all that I have.

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