Home Again

18 Apr

There is a song which says one is the loneliest number. It goes on to claim that two is as bad as one; that in fact, it’s the loneliest number since the number one. If you extrapolate these claims, the implications for loneliness among the higher numbers are staggering.

I walked home from Simon’s, cutting over from Neil to High Street once I’d gotten safely north of the Valley of Panhandlers. I thought about math. A number existed that was not lonely; that much seemed certain. Cory and Molly made a good argument for two being, at least, less lonely than one. As I climbed the stairs to my room, I heard their muffled voices through the door. Chardunk scratched insistently and deeply at their lintel, mewing plaintively. I edged past him and slipped into my room, being careful to keep him out of it. I was giving myself too much credit, though. If you weren’t Molly, the cats of our house were uninterested. He ignored me.

Additionally, Jason served as evidence for one and a half being not quite as lonely as one. His and-a-half came in the form of a long distance relationship with his Canadian girlfriend, Jana. She distinguished herself from other Canadian girlfriends by being real. She spent most of her time far away, but when she stayed with us, she was nice to me. I appreciated that, although they also spent much of their time with the door shut.

I thought about my three roommates and concluded that, regardless of anything else, four definitely qualified as lonely.

Greybert, our kitten, reached a paw under my door and mewed. I let her in and lay down on the futon. To maintain the illusion of space, I kept it in couch form. Usually cats were barred from my quarters, but kittens, like all other cute things, have privileges. She nestled between my legs with her head on my butt and fell immediately to sleep. I opened my laptop.

Craigslist, I’d decided, was too dangerous. Not in any physical sense: If I was going to be ambushed by a psycho from the internet who would sedate me, confiscate my kidney and leave me in a bathtub full of ice, at least that would be interesting. The story alone would be worth a kidney. Two, even. Humiliation, however, was boring. If the end result was to be public shame, I could accomplish that without anyone’s help.

I logged into A few people had visited my profile. Without real interest, I scrolled through the list of new users. On a Tuesday, in the summer, at 3:49 in the morning, 3,327 people were online, uploading photos, writing emails, looking at other people’s profiles, looking at their own. Each of these people had paid for something that can only be bought in facsimile, which can be worse than going without. 3,327 might be the loneliest number. At the least, it was as lonely as one.

My inbox held three emails. One was clearly spam; another was only a sentence long. A woman named Sarah had written the third. She was articulate, blond, and possessed of a polysyllabic vocabulary. She was also possessed of an impressively aquiline nose that, properly employed, looked like it could crack walnuts. I decided she was pretty. I’d email her in the morning.

Greybert woke up and I shooed her out into the hallway. Without bothering to undress, I crawled under a sheet and fell to sleep.


Leave a Reply


  1. LOL

    April 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    If it weren’t for guys who like aqualine noses, I probably would have never gotten a date.

  2. Dan

    April 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    where are you from? nose city?

  3. Tracy

    April 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Brills. My favorite yet! “She distinguished herself from other Canadian girlfriends by being real.”

    *falls over*

  4. Dan

    April 20, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I’m glad you like it. Um, what does “brills” mean?