When it comes to the loneliness epidemic and what I think about it,

it’s seeing the good in being lonely,

and loneliness in being good,

that I find truly good.

I came to this conclusion one night during the workweek,

when, after having a really fine day at work,

I found myself lying back on my twin bed

and looking around the room,

you’d think I was expecting someone I love

and haven’t seen for years

to come walking through the wall into my arms.

Well, of course nobody crawled into bed with me,

and I might have shed a tear or two

before getting up and practicing some deep breathing

I know I can always do during times like this,

when I can’t stop myself from feeling like the

middle-aged orphan I am

and have to light up an imaginary cigarette

and blow smoke in the world’s face followed by

an eyeroll signifying how unimpressed I’ve become,

my back against a brick wall of pride the length of China,

my head turn looking just done,

like it’s had it with giving others the benefit of the doubt.

Admittedly, there’s something beautiful about sporting an attitude,

something that says I’m not conceding to your point of view

even though you want me to

because it’ll just keep me up at night with shakes and fits

and migraines and nausea as unmercifully as

a nasty coffee withdrawal or worse.

It’s how I know there’s something even more beautiful,

in the way I can let a depressive, depersonalization moment

remind me of just how deeply I can love,

of just how silently I can surrender here on the cushion

and gently pay attention to myself, the way a mother might

tend to her child, even though she doesn’t want to.

That’s an ugliness I can say I find more beautiful than, well,

anything else.