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How To Be Lonely

How To Be Lonely

A Story by Pulling Candy

Step One: Grow Up.

The first step to acceptance is to be like others. Like a flower, almost, in your pleated skirt and saddle shoes, starched white blouse radiant, you stand in the coat room of Mrs.Lund’s first grade classroom and wish you had worn something, anything, different. Afraid to venture in to the snarling maw of children that would encompass you and swallow you whole, you stand shivering in the musky stench of rain boots and plaid coats until the teacher, fed up, steers you by the arm to the office and insists to speak with the principal. You know he’ll phone your mother, but for some reason you don’t care as you gaze in to the sticky circular patterns in the wallpaper and glance at the stack of manila envelopes on the secretaries desk that she meticulously sifts through while humming underneath her breath. She doesn’t look at you. You’re blending in.

You lose your virginity in a coat room, soggy from an afternoon shower, fumbling with his zipper though your hands are numb from the cold. You still wear skirts to school, his access is much easier, and you pride yourself on being noticed, at last, while he grinds against you with a grunt and a sigh and then it’s over and the lunch bell hasn’t even begun to chime it’s moronic symphony of sound. You won’t remember his name, but you will remember that your eyes were averted and focused on a pair of patent leather ankle boots the entire time, even with the awkward back and forth your body was making as you pressed the palms of your hands to the splintered wood of the coat frame and tried not to become unbalanced. Your center of gravity shifts as he pulls away and you’re pretty certain he won’t even look at you in Biology, and the next girl who attends him in this coat room might end up looking at your shoes while she grits her teeth and tries not to cry.

 In the quiet dark of your bedroom you flip through magazines underneath the covers of your bed, still dressed in the pink of your childhood because you don’t feel grown up, and you want the room you spend most of your time in to match. Rock stars and super models peer back at you and you wish sometimes that you hadn’t been blessed with child bearing hips, and instead had breasts which were in proportion and  sultry eyes that held men in thrall while you crossed a smoky room. Maybe you would fit in to a sequined dress that captured every ray of light which beamed down from the overhead lights and clung to the contours of your body, each step a sigh. Your Nirvana t-shirt and faded jeans didn’t cut it in the ferocious teenage world and your slacks and blouse aren’t making any headlines in the office world, and you feel like you are at a loss. Your life is like so many grains of sand and you are doing nothing to change it. Perhaps you don’t know what you could do. You just don’t know.

Out behind the shed at your Grandparents beach house you collected bird bones over the span of twelve summers. Smooth and white, they resembled intricately carved flutes from another time, another era. You resisted placing the hollow bones to your lips, to kiss, for fear of disease; not unlike what you do now with your boyfriends. The third week of August is always bittersweet for you because of this faded, jaded memory. Some time in between your fifteen and sixteenth birthday, your Grandfather found your voodoo pile and buried it somewhere between an aspen and a poplar to keep the cats at bay, and you bought a canary from the local pet shop to remind you that those bones kept you company throughout puberty, yet you never told them how much they meant to you, and now you will never have a chance. You named your yellow melody ‘Prince’ and you provided him with a gilded cage, and while he never left you, you knew he wasn’t happy and consequently he passed away after only three months. Your mother told you to feed him,  but you knew it was from a broken heart.

Some time during the course of your life you picked up smoking, in between the desire to be attractive and the reality of being nothing special. Some people are just born to be ‘normal’ and while you never really understood the concept of the word, you found some solace being able to naturally conceal yourself within a throng of people. Your lungs ache, your hands tremble, and yet you light another cigarette and whisper sweet nothings to the smoke curling towards the ceiling as you  lay in your bed, finally clothed in a deeper, more adult shade of blue, and you ask yourself just when it was you mastered the art of being lonely.

© 2010 Pulling Candy

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Added on October 3, 2010
Last Updated on October 3, 2010


Pulling Candy
Pulling Candy


My name is Kay. I am not a writer. I merely assist my pen (or as the case may be, my keyboard) in creating sentences that may or may not mesh together to bring forth new life (which may or may not be.. more..