In my life, aside from my Facebook friends, I have three people I call my good friends. Two of them I see about once every other month, and the other is my roommate, who I see, if I’m lucky, once a week. I have two jobs where I interact with people regularly, and I have warmer relationships with some and simply professional relationships with others. During my time off, what little of it I get these days, I spend it writing, going for walks in the city, watching movies, and because he absolutely insists, cuddling with my cat. Someone recently expressed concern that I was lonely.
I’m not. This is how I want my life to be. Maybe not working sixty-plus hours a week, but otherwise, like this. Writing is my passion. It means more to me than anything, and it’s a solitary pursuit. Also, I want to watch whatever dumb movie I want to watch without having to negotiate with anyone else. Walking in the city is something that can be done with others, and when she’s available, Nicole does it with me, and we have a great time. I like talking to people and hanging out, but I don’t need to, and after a run of long days at two jobs, I don’t particularly want to.
I think maybe people overestimate the time Kate and I spent together. Toward the end of our marriage, I saw her for, at the most, an hour a day, and she used that time to check Facebook and play Charmed in the background. I was lonely for a long time with her—I didn’t have any friends at all when we were together—and I eventually grew to enjoy my own company. I’d been pretty solitary before that, even during my most social (2002-2003), and by this point with Kate, I had become a hermit. Not all of that has gone away. I don’t want it to.
And so, if you want to hang out, that’s great. I love hanging out with you. If you don’t have the time, that’s too bad, but don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I now have some extra time to work on what I think is the best novel I’ve written so far.
In short, I may be alone most of the time, but I’m not lonely. Not even a little bit.