For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

A-Z Challenge: When L is for Lonely

It wasn't the first time he'd felt this lonely, this Sunday morning, staring out a Starbuck's window, his coffee cup already empty, mesmerized by the streaming of people along the city sidewalks. He was only twenty-three, but seemed to have spent a lot of his years like this, watching. As a child, it was on the playground, when he'd hang from a single monkey bar, swinging, just to have something to do while he watched others kicking a ball around.
When he was in second grade, he remembered even saying it out loud to his mother. If only into his pillow. "I'm lonely."

"What, Hon?"

He couldn't say it again. He kept his face in his pillow.

And she didn't ask him to say it again. She kissed him behind his ear. The spot she liked to remind him had always been her favorite ever since he was a baby, when she'd always been kissing him behind his ears. There was even a photo somewhere; she's holding him up to the camera. He is grinning a toothless grin, not yet lonely, and she is immersed in his skin.

When he'd visit back home now and sit at the table for a bowl of cereal, she still would kiss him there. She'd come up behind him, resting her hands firmly on his shoulders. She'd take some delight in that, his embarrassment, as he'd pull away.

Back when he first used that word, into his pillow, it had been about a particular moment out on that playground. When a kid had accused him of thinking he was cool when he wasn't.

From then on, he had tried to be funny instead, to make other kids laugh. As he still would try to be funny, though mostly around girls. So that they might want to go out on another date with him. The girl he'd gone out with last night, had laughed at his antics, but said she already had plans for next weekend. She'd been charmed. But clearly not enchanted.

So this is what it was like. Years ago, when he once threatened to run away as kids do when they don't get their way, his mother had offered to call him a cab – knowing he couldn't bare to leave home. And when he'd decided to stay, she'd spoken more firmly: "When you're eighteen, you can do as you please. Until then, you are to abide by the rules under our roof."

He wondered why a kid would ever want to run away when living under a roof of so much unconditional love. Because of just this – they couldn't foresee life out from underneath that roof. Another Sunday morning. When he might as well still be swinging from that single monkey bar.


Anonymous said...

What a fabulous little peek into a family. Nice!

November Rain - k~ said...

I recognize that moment of angst prior to the loneliness setting in, or perhaps it is the recognition of lonely that becomes painfully aware.

His reflection from the bars, as he looks at the kids who are "cool" and having fun without him, is hard to overcome, but the love at home can heal, even if it becomes the single monkey bar in his mind.

November Rain - k~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

Aaww, I was always lonely as a child, too. Perhaps we all are? No-one can really join us, inside, can they?
Enjoyed your story! I started writing when my children were young as well.

In case you are interested in my blog, I'm leaving you my A-Z link as blogger always identifies me as my shared blog with other poets - my A-Z is this one:

Lynn Proctor said...

omgosh, this broke my heart---

Brenda Stevens said...


Kittie Howard said...

Loneliness is such a difficult emotion to portray but you nailed it. Great job, especially his reflection from the bars.

Amy Morgan said...

Loved the insight at the end. Nicely done!

Theresa Milstein said...

Poor lonely kid.

Kate O'Mara said...

It could have a happy ending, I married the class clown... he made me laugh & it warmed my heart.:)
Follow & A to Z Visit

Jo said...

Lovely and lonely. Very nice.♥

Kathy said...

Such a touching post. I really liked this.


Glynis said...

Ah, reminds me of a lonely Christmas day I once had while nursing.

Lovely post.

Texas Playwright Chick said...

Sweet, poignent!

Texas Playwright Chick

Rebecca Bradley said...

Loneliness is so hard and something no one else can see. Great post.

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