Loneliness came calling in the dead of night for her. It crept up into her bed and made it cold, it hummed with the empty space. “The quiet will be the death of me.” She knew this, and yet her feet remained anchored, the television remained off, the computer remained closed. There was no safe place at night. No coffee shop to go to where the hustle and bustle of those around her made her feel like maybe for a moment she was still part of something. She had a recurring dream of chairs in an empty room, all of them waiting for guests that never came. She had old records on the shelf hat hadn’t been played in so long that they became

There was no safe place at night. No coffee shop to go to where the hustle and bustle of those around her made her feel like maybe for a moment she was still part of something. She would sit with big red headphones on that played nothing, listening to conversations about children and love and heartbreak, watching nervous hands grip hot cups and relax as the hours went on.

She had a recurring dream of chairs in an empty room, all of them waiting for guests that never came.Β She had old records on the shelf hat hadn’t been played in so long that they became gray, and erupted in a cloud of smoke every time she picked them up. There were hundreds of them, the records. Set up neatly in the living room, they take up an entire wall. She still holds on to them even though she shouldn’t, even though they don’t throw parties anymore. She will pick one up and turn it around in her hands, watching the dust fly up and then settle into the ground slowly, falling delicately, like snow.

And in the night she wonders if this is the true place she should have ended up, with a telephone full of numbers she didn’t want to call, and blue screens full of friends who wouldn’t even notice if she lived or died. They said happy birthday to her still, the little red icon numbers creep up once a year and they all feel like they have done their duty.Β  She wonders if she is like them too, holed up and starved for human connection she simply decided it was easier to give up, easier to just forget about them All and live in this place with the records that never ever make music anymore.

It is night, and the loneliness creeps in. And this time it creeps into her throat in the form of blue and red and green pills, and there is music on in the living room.

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