When you look up the word “alone” in The Devil's Dictionary, it says: “Alone, adj. In bad company.” I feel like that sometimes; usually when I’m awake. I feel like anybody’s company is better than my own, simply because they’re not me.
That’s one kind of loneliness. It’s common; it's generic -– it’s barcode loneliness. Then there’s the lonesomeness I feel because there’s no one special in my life. Most people have an open passport to that particular country; me? I have dual citizenship.
I’ve been trying to get rid of that loneliness since I was twelve, and fell head over heels for the girl across the street. Didn't work out, but that's my pattern. Girl on one side of the street, me on the other, and whenever I make a move, I get hit by a car.
On those rare occasions when I manage to dodge the car and get the girl, my special person loneliness disappears completely. Problem is, it gets replaced by a third kind of loneliness. I'll go out with this girl–-pretty, sensitive, smart, funny--and it's like that feeling you get when you don’t know what you want, you only know what you don’t want–-when you say to yourself, I don’t want to read this book, I don’t want to see that movie, and I don’t want to be here; but I don’t know what I want to do and I don’t know where I want to go. That feeling you get when you’re not a part of anything–-just apart. Even when you're with someone.
I would get this feeling and thing, "Is it the whole 'wanting is more fun than having' thing that comes complete at no extra charge with the Y chromosome? Is it Groucho Syndrome ('I refuse to be part of any club that'll have me as a member')? Is it just my mutant power?"
I never knew how to describe this kind of loneliness until I read a biography of Doctor John Henry Holliday of Griffin, Georgia--dentist, gunslinger and famous consumptive. Some reporter went up to him in Tombstone and said, “So tell me, Doc –- you ever get lonely?” And Doc shook his head and said, “Only around people.”