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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Curiosity

Curiosity
GBE2 #30

Why does it feel so quiet tonight?  Has everyone else in the building gone out?  Have they all gone to family gatherings or to the local pub because they have no one at home and the thought of being alone is overwhelming at the holidays?  Listening intently, she hears absolute silence.  Silent Night. That thought makes her smile and instinctively go to the window to look for the star in the north.  It's there and it is bright, but she is too engrossed in the silence. 

It's a picture perfect winter night.  The ground is white and nearly unmarked by the fresh inch or so of snow that has been falling for the past hour.  Not so much falling as drifting down ever so softly, so as not to disturb the utter silence.  The street lights are kind of blurred by the lightly floating snowflakes as they search for their exact location to fall and become one with all the others, thereby, forming this incredible blanket of fresh, clean and pure snow. 

Returning to her sofa, she reaches for her blanket of the softest yarn she could find when she decided to knit herself a cuddling blanket.  It turned out well after several months of knitting and leaving it and knitting again until it was, at last, exactly the size she required for wrapping or napping.  Tonight she would wrap herself in it's warmth and enjoy this holy and silent night alone. 

She thought very little of the others she used to share in her days.  They had all moved on in one way or another and now her days were filled with television, music, books and her job.  Somehow, being alone in this world was not a bad thing for her, ever.  She liked people and had many acquaintances at work and around the neighborhood, but none of them would be called friends because she chose not to make them friends.  She chose instead to make stories in her mind about their private lives and they lived inside her head that way.  If she thought of Tom who she knew was married and had one small boy, she would see them all three around the dinner table and Tom would be leading the grace before eating and his wife, whom she named Sue, would be smiling and with one hand shushing the little boy.  She had not yet named the little boy. Adriana would see herself seated across from Sue. She only knew Tom because he is the man who brings her mail to her desk each day and he wears a company name tag.  He is not her friend, but in her mind, she is often with his family.

This is how Adriana lives her life now.  All of the real people who had hurt her, disappointed her, just not cared about her, all were gone on their way.  She discovered that if she stopped calling them or stopping to visit them, none of them called or visited her.  Her friendships were all one sided.  She ended them simply by not making any effort.  The new people in her mind, however, were always calling on her and including her in all their plans and therefore, a night like this one, the Silent Night, the Holy Night, actually was a welcomed reprieve. 

Her curiosity was on high alert whenever she realized that in this apartment building lived 10 other single people and one couple.  It seemed to her that very often she was the only one either home or awake. That always made her feel just a little bit better, somehow.  Not better than them, better than she felt when everyone was coming and going or talking in the hallways.  This was the time that she made up her stories about each of them. She had named them all, given them all back stories and knew what each did every minute of every day.  All of this without ever making eye contact with any of them or speaking to them.  She had never uttered a word to another resident.  That would ruin the story development.

Curious, always, but satisfying that quest to know in her own mind and with her own unique spin, always.
Sanity?  Insanity?  Who knows!  But for the first time in her 43 years on earth, she is happy and content and not a single person exists that can cause her pain.  She has had enough pain and this is who and what she wants her life to be about.  Alone with her stories and her God.  Never alone.

Jo




33 comments:

  1. A little sad but how many people live like this? True in the end, we are never alone, God is always with us!

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  2. Anna...It could be sad, but if this is the life she has chosen, who are we to say? God allows us to choose so many things and for some, solitude is a good choice.

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  3. I like the line, "She chose instead to make stories in her mind about their private lives and they lived inside her head that way" it spoke to me :-)

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  4. Great story and interpretation of the prompt. Sadly, I believe there are a lot of people like this in the world.

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  5. Jennifer...Thank you. I'm not sure I think it is that sad. Some people just like to be alone. She finds a way to be alone with God and also happy. Not so sad.

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  6. Artful...Honestly, this whole story speaks to me. Not that IS me, but I understand people who don't need people. I also understand the one sided friendship thing. Thanks.

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  7. Kat...Thank you. You also think it is sad. I find that so interesting. I do not feel like this is so much a sad story as an explanation of why some people live alone and yet, are happy with their lives.

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  8. I like solitude. I understand her perfectly.

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  9. Darlene...I am not like her at all, but I do know people who are and I understand it, too. I love my alone time, but I do need people to love. :) Real people!

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  10. I did read your post from my phone last night before I went to sleep and wanted to leave a comment, but couldn't. Re-reading it this morning I can only repeat myself: wow!

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  11. Some people are very comfortable living life apart from others, but never alone. I know several people like this and they are always so content to live this way.

    This is not the type of person I could ever be--or would want to be. I do enjoy people and company so much and don't much like solitude (it has its time and its place--but not as a permanent resident).

    Wonderful write!! Cheers, Jenn.

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  12. Claudia...thanks, I think! I can't comment from my phone either. It says I did, but then they don't show up, so I don't know.

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  13. Jenn...Thanks so much. I am very intent on my alone time. I need it and I demand it, but I also love people. I'm pretty much balanced in my alone and socializing needs, I think.
    I find solitary people fascinating and I imagine they do what writers do, make up stories all the time, so I just went there and then some!

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  14. I couldn't work for the public if I didn't guard my down time. I don't think there's anything wrong with retreating from life every now and then. Maybe we all need to recharge out internal batteries.

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  15. Kelly...I agree. Thanks for stopping and sharing! ♥
    Merry Christmas

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  16. It was a positive comment, trust me! I just wanted to say that it was a great take on the theme and it made me want to re-read it!

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  17. Claudia...Well, in that case, thank you very much! Saying worth a re-read is high praise! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  18. oh, jo.. this was great... i felt the passion...

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  19. Daphne...Thank you so much. I enjoy creating people who live differently than I and somehow making them acceptable and likable to the reader. I like Adriana and I think others would also, if she would let them.

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  20. you have such a gift.......i feel as if i know her now :0) could you tell her to join the peace corps? she can take her blanket hehe

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  21. Sometimes a person can find true peace and solace in a setting like this. This was beautifully written! I loved it! Reminded me a little of myself.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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  22. Kathy...thank you so much. You just always have the nicest things to say. I believe, if we are honest, that most writers have a little of this in us...stories come from somewhere, don't they?

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  23. I know an Adriana, and though she seems content enough, I sometimes hear a little wistfulness in her voice. Like your character, she came to her solitary life by means of past hurts, but to avoid further pain, she's segmented herself away from real connections. No one will hurt her, I suppose, but I have to wonder if the absence of genuine bonds isn't every bit as painful as betrayal.

    I like and need some solo time, but I can't imagine living a solo life. *sigh*

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  24. Beth...I believe some people choose to be alone because they actually like it. The acquaintances in their everyday life are enough and their privacy is more important than having someone. Hard to say, to each his own, I guess.

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  25. That was quite sad. And as always, your last lines are beautiful.

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  26. Suzy...Thank you so very much. I appreciate your kind words. There is more....to the story...not really so sad.

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  27. Thank you Suzy...there are 4 parts of Adriana's story.
    Could be more down the road...not sure if I'm done with her or not.

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  28. It's kind of sad. People hurt her so she becomes a recluse. That's not the way it's supposed to be.

    Joyce
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2011/12/gbe2-curiositywonder-and-after-life.html

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  29. Joyce...It's sad, but it's gonna get even stranger. Keep reading.

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  30. Melancholy, but rather beautiful :o)

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  31. Thank you...only 12 more to go! I love that you are ready the whole thing. :)

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