Living Alone Too Long by Rich Quatrone

LIVING ALONE TOO LONG

It’s a difficult way to live.
I’ve been alone for twelve years now.
Twelve long years.
Twelve years of nights alone.
Sleeping alone.
Eating alone.
Doing everything here alone.
Oh, there were the five or so years
with Diane.
But she did not live here.
And did not sleep over here very often.
And for some reason, those years still
seem to count as years alone.
Because they were just that.
For the last four years even Diane
has been gone.
Let me tell you, it’s been a long, dry,
hollow, even disorienting four years
of mornings, afternoons, evenings,
and nights alone.
Cleo, my cat has been with me these
four years, and that’s been some comfort,
thank god.
She’s a good little companion.
But she’s far from enough.
And everything comes back to me.
I am frequently haunted.
My sleep is rarely ever restful.
I am living in some kind of circle,
day to day, week to week, month
to month, year to year.
All the same, all of it.
Eating alone is both an art form
and a drudgery.
At times I feel like I am the only
soul on earth.
At times I feel I am paying a long
penance for my sins.
Especially for leaving my wife
and baby son all those years ago.
You will laugh, but I’ve even at
times entertained the idea that I
might be dead.
Or I feel I am lost in some space
time warp, like the astronaut
in 2001 A Space Odyssey who
keeps aging and ends up on his
back in bed with that black monolith
facing him.
A frightening thought and image, indeed.
To think I am in some machine hurtling
through space alone for eternity
waiting for the monolith to appear.
Or maybe it’s already here.

One Reply to “Living Alone Too Long by Rich Quatrone”

  1. Frank and forthright … genuine … the ending is somewhat unexpected … to me anyway … as someone who now seems to have next to no solitude this poem is particularly painful (for the wrong reason) … we are who we are (to quote Kesha) … thanks for sharing this one! DaP

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