Connection Quotient

December 05, 2005

The number of people I connect with and interact with on a daily basis has only gone down by one and yet it feels as if I have no connection to anyone at all. I sit alone in this apartment staring at the walls with mindless television or movies droning on to mask the oppressive quiet. I long for the phone to ring, to bring me human contact, and then, when it does ring I can't wait for the person to go away and leave me alone. I no longer know if I am coming or going. What once made sense now seems insane, and nothing seems normal any more.

On a daily basis I used to send Michele at least one email from work, usually something banal to let her know I'd arrived safely. We always talked on the phone during the day, sometimes several times. Not every evening was filled with conversation but there was always a recounting of our activities apart, a sharing of the other's life that brought us closer together.

Now I rarely take the phone out of my coat pocket, some days I leave it on silent because I know it will never ring with her on the other end again. And the rule in my mail in box that caused the computer to chime when the mail was from her will be forever unused.

The connection quotient of my life has only changed by one and yet that one was more than all the others combined, more than all the others multiplied. Being alone in this apartment is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Sometimes I can't stand the silence here and I have to go out, just to be around other people. But then I feel exposed and vulnerable and I have to come back to this place to feel safe. Only I don't feel safe here anymore. I am totally uprooted and adrift, helpless in the currents of grief and despair.

I am alone.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.