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Alone, Not Lonely

                           Alone, Not Lonely









I've never understood why people are so petrified of the idea of eating alone. We all have insecurities, and I am far from perfect, but I'm comfortable with myself and know that, save for a select group of friends and family, I naturally prefer the company of an engaging book, powerful podcast, or my own immersive thoughts to the forced companionship of another human being.

I can recall on command the awkward social dance that begins whenever I'm caught out in the wild, entranced by a novel, only to be casually approached by an acquaintance who feels that they are fulfilling their unwarranted social duties by sitting with me. Unwilling to be a dick the vast majority of the time, I begrudgingly accept, and am immediately and involuntarily wisked away into the collective cancer we all know too intimately. I speak of course of that dreaded ritual, small talk.

Please inform me as to why, rather than strolling relaxedly around Walden pond with Thoreau, engorging myself on his proto-Luddite rants against consumerism and blind adherence to the false idol of materialism, I would instead choose to pour acid down my ears, courtesy of joining you by proxy in your mad dash to keep up with the Kardashians.

I haven't the slightest inkling what illogical, incessant voices would persuade you to regale me with the epic saga of your fruitless and Sisyphean attempts to shed unsightly weight as you eternally drench your insides with beer and continue to allow yourself to be facefucked by ice cream cones after you catch me in the far corner of some non-descript bar, reading the autobiography of boxing paragon Muhammad Ali, striving in vain to go unnoticed. But find alarming solace in the fact that they're habitual liars. Every single one of them.


I train in solitary settings because I prefer it. If you've invited me to workout and I've turned you down, understand from the depths of my honesty that it is not personal. Usually. Physical culture, like writing, is something that is so inextricably linked to my core identity that the daily performance of it is akin to a purification ritual.

My goals are different than those of a bodybuilder, opposite of a powerlifters, and unrecognizable to a Crossfitter. Marathoners, triatheletes, and any type of endurance athlete really need not apply, though I'll make an exception for hikers, particularly the balding, imbecilic Texan variety.

I relate most closely with the fighters, as combat sports are the only ones I really enjoy and somewhat excel at in certain pockets and patches. The BJJ gym down in Waikiki is the only place I've felt at home in when I venture out of my fitness cave. Naturally, I, as well as others, assumed that the gymnastics and street workout communities would be a perfect fit, but there are no collectives out here for either.


As a consequence of my loner nature, I find myself wholly unsuited to what many would deem a traditional career path. A book I scavenged today from the ruins of a nearly abandoned common area on base speaks of space as the next Wild West, not completely unlike Star Trek.

This science-fiction excursion views the traditional medium through the eyes of the outlaws, unrepentant wanderers they are, rather than through the regimentation and regulation of a bureaucratic military. Having lived the latter for over half a decade, my interest, as it always has been, lies solely inside the area of the former.

The novel's heros and heroines drift through deep space, aimless yet guided. Called in the direction of money and adventure, they sail cosmically and unhindered, untethered by the constraints of modernity, unshackled by meaningless, encumbering traditions. Obviously, I'm neither Elon Musk nor immortal, so I won't be voyaging amongst the stars in this lifetime.

I know resolutely, however, that I will not return to my former path once I've mustered out of the Navy. Sea duty is always an option, but I tire of the needless red tape and senseless business borne of stagnation and rampant boredom. I'm more Black Sails than Master And Commander. The life of a sailing contractor, let loose on foreign waterways, freed from the nonsense of my previous existence, beckons to me seductively.

The crazed wailing of the oil rig deckhand promises the six figures I've tirelessly chased, as well as the ironic familiarity of the unknown. I could blend in amongst the teeming masses, enterprising men and women with pasts to escape and futures to write, sculpt and ensure. Faceless until you lock shifting eyes with them, finally tasting a portion the abyss. Chaos smiles over you.


Driving back home in preparation for another night of arduous nothingness, I distanced myself from my mundane tasking and took stock of my emotions. In doing so, I noticed the presence of an ancient adversary: Discontentment.

It manifests itself as a yearning for more, a longing for fulfillment, to bury the disenfranchisement you harbor and the apathy you endure. I miss home, I desire a better field of labor, and I campaign for the realization of my dreams. At 26, I've done well for myself by any measure of success.

While others are crippled by debt borne of ill-advised loans and purchases, I have built substantial savings. I've been around the world, am in the prime of my physical health, and am incredibly well-read. I've identified my strengths and weaknesses and doubled-down on my efforts regarding self-improvement. In short, life is good. So why this emptiness?

Revisiting my past, I recalled that this hollowness has been my unwanted, yet necessary companion since childhood. At 9, laying down energetic in bed, unwilling to accept that school loomed heavily the next morning rather than another scintillating, refreshing day with my friends and cousins, and would do so for the next 6 months, this urge for more echoed through me jarringly.

At 17, uncertain about my life post high school, it rang racuously in my chest. And now in the present day, it remains, stalwart and uncompromising. Perhaps it will never recede, halt or surrender. And that's fine, because my enemy has forced me to rage against mediocrity, mundanity, and what the weak deem sanity, and in doing so has proven to be the Brother I never had.

To desire and crave ascendance and accomplishment with the same fervent intensity I reserve for exercise, women, money, family and God. To do all of these things on my terms. And I will, rest assured. 

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