On being alone

My name is Arthur. I was born in 1928. I turned 95 in June. The first ten years of my life on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I spent the next six years of my life in a heavenly place called Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Make that eight years. That makes me 18. And then the rest of my life, the bulk, was in Queens. I got married at 20 and couldn’t find a place to live in Brooklyn. There were no apartments at the time. So I wound up in Queens, which is not so terrible, but it was not Brooklyn. Brooklyn is described as heaven. Queens is not heaven. It’s just a good place. 

I have only one subject that fits the commentary we’re talking about: I am now at the end of my life.  I spent the first 16 years of my life completely and truly alone. No details, but take my word for it. Then I met Rita and spent the next 78 years with Rita. And then I lost Rita, and I’m spending my final years alone. And I’m finding it not easy, these drastic changes. I could handle changes when I was younger, but the last change was a year ago. I lost Rita one year ago this coming Monday. When I say alone, I’m not alone. I have friends with whom I keep in contact, but technically, I’m alone. And it’s a very unique position. 

I don’t know if anybody could match a thing like that. 16 years, literally alone. 78 years, married, family, and everything else, and then you’re thrown back alone for the balance of your life. So this is my project. I am trying to figure out what to call this thing I’m working on, and it’s not easy. I always deal with this, trying to find some kind of a happy medium, which I know I’m not going to find, but I keep trying. 

If this makes any sense to the listener, it would be helpful because I can do very little explaining what I’m talking about except give you the facts. I can answer questions, but I can’t elaborate. There’s no elaboration here. I’m giving you three simple items that take up my life today. There’s occasional depression. There’s a lot of good times. 

It’s mixed. But it’s a project that I know I won’t be able to solve. It’s a project for me. So, any conversation that I could get on this subject, I would appreciate it because I’m dealing with this alone. It’s like a crossword puzzle if that makes any sense. And I could stop with that because that’s the one big thing where I am right now.

I can just, fortunately, I’m basically healthy. My mind is still intact, but it seems to be intact. And with that, I come to the end of the story I want to tell today. This is it. It’s a short story, extremely complex. 

“The more I see you.” That was the song of two kids, Rita and I, from a movie called State Fair. And it became our song, as they say, and it remained our song for life, literally for life. The words are beautiful.

Download the Free Story Prompt Cards

Enter your information below for instant download

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter to stay up to date with our work and upcoming events!