On Being Alone

I wonder how many people really know what it’s like to be utterly alone in our busy world?

I’m not talking about just having no close friends or family, I’m talking about having no one.

Imagine yourself moving to a large city where you know no one. All you have are your clothes on your back, a candy bar and a half bottle of warm water. Suddenly, everything you once knew is different; alien to what you thought. Even people you once thought friends, now seem to be strangers ignoring your silent pleas for help; some will, but most won’t help – you’ve become a leper.

You don’t know anything about where you are, nor do you know anyone to ask. You have been abruptly cast out of your home with no money, no food, very little clothing, no transportation, and the list of noes goes on until it comes to, where do I go to the bathroom? What do I use for toilet paper? How can I bathe? I have no toothpaste! Where can I lay down; be safe and out of the weather to sleep? Rather than looking through the store windows as you walk, you look down; searching for lost change, dropped jewelry, anything of value to buy you a hot meal, or even a hot cup of coffee.

Now repeat that feeling every day for the remainder of your life because this is the life of a homeless person who moves from one city block to another.

That’s the life of a homeless person; an experience I led for a while.

I find it tragic that when I hear someone say, “That woman is begging to can get money for dope!”

How do you know that; maybe it’s the sallow looking kid holding her hand that gave you a clue?

The flip side of the coin is the clean, groomed younger person standing by the freeway ramp with a sign that says; “Homeless, need help for food.”

 Is he lying? One might think so, but then perhaps he knows a gas station that has a bathroom where he can clean up before panhandling? We don’t know.

Whatever the case, being entirely alone with no one to turn to is the most horrifying experience we can experience. There is no age restriction for the homeless; you’re accepted whether you’re 105 or a newborn, but I feel those who suffer the worst may be the elderly who have no one to turn to for a hug, a chat and perhaps an I love you Grandma. The emptiness is unlike any feeling I’ve ever had, and I don’t know how to explain it. I pray no one else ever has to feel it.

Being alone is painful enough, but being homeless and lonely is life destroying.

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