Books

Romanticized Loneliness

Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles.

Book 36/50 for 2018 – doesn’t look like I’ll make my 50 book goal….

I adored the beginning half of Love in Lowercase. A solitary literature professor filling his quiet hours with classical music, tidying up, and reading. If you add in some crochet, that is my dream escape!

I lost the thread of the story during the second half. The gist is that all kinds of little mundane choices make up a life. Let a cat into your life and it sets in motion an escape from peaceful solitude. The butterfly effect.

I lived alone in my twenties. I rented a small ground floor apartment walking distance from the Skytrain and MetroTown mall. A vaguely creepy guy lived a few doors down but he didn’t give me any trouble. He might have just been lonely and akward.

I worked at a trucking company. I had a quiet back desk where I entered accounting data and printed reports and filed files. It was predictable, routine, and just slightly social.

After work, I would pick up a few groceries and sometimes a Bubble Tea. As I walked home I could faintly hear someone practicing violin. The notes would float onto the sidewalk and serenade me as I made my way home in the dusk.

I spent my evenings cooking, reading, cleaning, watching TV or surfing dating sites online.

On Saturdays, I would browse around the library, walk in the park, go shopping at the mall, drink coffee with biscotti at the cafe.

I vaguely remember feeling lonely, restless, bored. Mostly, I remember quiet.

In my forties, I am now married and have four children. I have a father-in-law that I care for. I have aging parents that will need my care soon. I volunteer at the kid’s school. Our family has our fair share of mental illnesses and different abilities. I am not lonely. I am rarely alone! It is easy to look back on those quiet days and remember only peace and solitude and simplicity and sushi and violins in the rain at dusk.

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