“I want a way out of loneliness. Just like you.” –Mr. Robot
There is no word in the dictionary for all our types of lonely. This is what kills me. Loneliness is universal, which is both comforting and sad. But somehow we still keep struggling. We struggle to understand how others could be lonely one moment and happy the next. We struggle to accept that there are people who don’t get Happy and that they feel all life gives them is Okay. We struggle to understand when we see someone who is just fine with being lonely. Sometimes we even struggle to appreciate when friends try to make our Loneliness smaller and lighter so that we could fit it in a compartment somewhere inside us and not weigh us down all the time. I’ve heard Loneliness in so many songs, seen it in countless paintings, and recognized it in poetry and prose.
But see, there’s the problem. All this time, I’ve thought of Loneliness as some kind of baggage, something we carry along with us inherently. But Elliot says that all he wants is “a way out of loneliness.” I’ve never considered it to be a place for others, something bigger than them, somewhere they could get lost in, and somewhere they could lose other parts of themselves.
I’ve never pictured Loneliness to be a place you find your way out of. But now I can’t stop thinking how it might be like a maze for some people. They turn in a corner, hoping finally they did something right, took a step in the right direction, but still end up at another dead end.
Maybe this is why we keep on struggling. We know Loneliness exists. But we don’t know what it looks like for others. And you can’t make a maze smaller; you can only guide the person through it, regardless how vast and endless and confusing they think it is. Because sometimes, all a person needs is someone to hold his hands, not an actual escape plan.