Loneliness is the ten-year-old girl, pasting herself against the outside wall of a concrete school building at recess, hoping the bell would ring so she can go inside where her desk awaits her. In the classroom it wouldn't be so obvious that she's alone as it is when she's outside on the crowded playground.
The bell rings -- relief for a while. From her desk she watches the clock, hoping for the lunch bell to save her from an even more obvious exposure as a failure in math.
Lunch comes -- relief for a while. She arrives at the cafeteria with a book to read, making her isolated position at the table more graceful -- less conspicuous. She reads the same page for half an hour.
After school, avoiding main streets, she talks to herself, but it only sounds like she's talking to herself. Actually her mind is in another place, another time. In her fantasy, she can become the brilliant conversationalist most asked for at any party. She's now a movie star, twirling around in a sparkly dress. Whee! -- she stops, looks around, jolted into reality. She hopes no one is looking.
Home, safe at last, she can't wait to talk to her friend, the only one who seems to understand. The family beagle "Buddy" awaits, tail wagging. Deep down she knows that he'd wag for anyone. It could have been Hitler standing in her place, and Buddy would have been just as cordial. The dog is the end of the line.
Loneliness is when you're a high school student, pacing through the halls, carrying books you don't need -- at least you don't need them for your classes. Finally, you've developed something to do that looks busy and involved, cleverly disguised as one of the students. Just keep looking straight ahead, past the whispers and comments. You just know they're about you. But you don't care about them. You can't care.
Loneliness is being a divorcee, peering, crying through the wire fence surrounding a kindergarten playground. Inside, your five-year-old son plays in the sand, unaware of your presence. You had been denied custody. Visiting day isn't until Sunday. What good is a Sunday visit in his little world? He's hurt and bitter towards you, and you're to blame. There he is, 100 feet away, and you've lost him. You pull your coat up closer around you and turn to go, fingering the iron grillwork as you slowly disappear. Loneliness is separation and alienation. It comes from being self-centered. I grew up self-centered, and I brought upon myself all the loneliness I am writing about. But there is someone who paid for my self-centered past. His name is Yahshua, a friend to even those who don't know how to be a friend. He is making a friend out of me.