Isn’t it crazy how many of us are lonely?

Not just occasionally, a bit in-need-of-company, at-a-loose-end kind of lonely but deep, existential loneliness.

I had an old friend round a while ago. I actually had to ask him if some of my memories of my first girlfriend were true. They’re so long ago and I’ve remembered them so many times, they don’t feel real to me any more, it feels more like remembering a film I’ve watched rather than my own life. But, no, he confirmed I hadn’t gone full-on Ben Gunn, she did exist and all that crazy shit did, in fact, happen. Also, she was as beautiful as I remember. Go me!

Loneliness is insidious. I’ve been single for nine years now, the longest in my adult life. The only way I cope is to treat the loneliness like a monster in the corner of my room; I don’t look at it, I pretend it’s not there and in return it doesn’t claw me to death.

Mostly, this deal works. I can get on with pretending to be an adult (which… shh… is what every adult does, kids) and I’m not screaming inside for more than an hour or two a day. That gives me enough time to do my tax stuff, run my label, write songs, buy synths I don’t need from eBay. Last week, I even managed to exercise without drifting off into blue funks of reverie. I know!

Other days… well, I look in the corner.

And before I know it, I’m swamped with memories of being loved and cared for, of spooning someone in bed, of the house not being half-empty as it has been for years now. There is nothing as beautiful as the improvised little tunes your wife sings absentmindedly as she potters around the house. Nothing in the entire universe.

Today is a bad day. Today, I could really do with hugs and comforting and feeling at least not ugly for a while. But, this being real life, that’s not going to happen. Like all of us who are profoundly lonely, I’ll just have to grit my teeth and get through another day as best I can.

If you’re reading this and identify with the feeling, please know that, ironically, you aren’t alone in your loneliness. You aren’t weird or bizarre or defective. Millions of humans feel like you do.