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    The AtlanticApoorva Tadepalli7/29/217 min
    24 reads15 comments
    9.3
    The Atlantic
    24 reads
    9.3
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • sjwoo10 months ago

      I'd certainly be the first to admit that this pandemic has left me lonely in so many ways. In fact, that's what I hate most about this virus -- that it has taken the simple, easy pleasure of just being around people, on the most basic level.

      I'm not someone who talks to his stranger seatmate on an airplane, but I still enjoy the ancillary, surface interactions of people in close proximity. Like eating at a packed restaurant with that awesome hum of chatter. Like watching a Broadway play in elbow-to-elbow seats. You and I, separately but together, can enjoy this painting in this museum.

      Right now, none of this is possible without the pervasive, oppressive fear that also accompanies it. And I'm beginning to believe that these simple times will never return. :((

      • Jessica10 months ago

        Your comment reminds me of this article. The pandemic has also amplified a fear of strangers... a new lens to look at the phrase "stranger danger," I suppose.

        • sjwoo10 months ago

          Now having just said that I don't speak to people on airplanes, one of my very best stranger-talking experiences has been on an airplane. It was a redeye flight, and this passenger and I like never stopped talking! So much that the guy in front said, "Excuse me, but like...can you guys keep it down?" I don't even remember what we talked about, but it was just amazing.

          One other time I recall is accompanying a friend to his pot dealer and ending up talking to the pot dealer's wife about a tragedy in her life (her brother's death, I think?) for like two hours. That was almost weird, because while her husband was chatting with my friend, his wife and I were having this super deep, super meaningful conversation. At the end of the evening, we said goodbye and I could tell she felt the same way I did, on the edge of embarrassment, because what we'd experienced was borderline intimate, but it was out in the open? Really, really odd, and yet one of the most meaningful exchanges I've ever had with basically a stranger. (You know, I probably should write a short story or something about this.)

          • Jessica10 months ago

            I'm with Thor - that short story is one I'd love to read!

          • thorgalle
            Reading streakScoutScribe
            10 months ago

            Sounds like a good plan, that last whole story is one I’d like to read :)

        • thorgalle
          Reading streakScoutScribe
          10 months ago

          It also made me think of this article! But more like, hey, this “talking to strangers” awareness might be just what we need to counter the loneliness!

      • Jasonecir10 months ago

        Now we face the future where we’re all toxic.

        • sjwoo10 months ago

          God. This is so true!

    • Jessica10 months ago

      “To move through a life without weapons,” she writes—weapons of any kind—is “to remain open to the world, and at its mercy.”

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        10 months ago

        Another stunner Jessica! I love the quote you posted, one to live by! Thanks for your thought provoking articles, always inspiring.

        • Jessica10 months ago

          So glad you enjoyed this one, Pegeen!

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      10 months ago

      Deep, provocative, a 10! What’s interesting, is that you can be lonely even while in relationship. It’s a broad brush and one that deserves contemplation and attention. We certainly had time for that during this pandemic. I personally had a difficult time being physically separated from my family and friends but I understood the temporary nature of the situation. To imagine a life of isolation without a forced mandate is heartbreaking. And the experiments with the monkeys are too much to bear. To read love when reading someone else’s loneliness seems a compassionate and healing response.

    • DellwoodBarker10 months ago

      Extremely well written.

    • jeff
      ScoutScribe
      10 months ago

      Excellent, thought-provoking piece!

    • Plum
      Scribe
      10 months ago

      “Love and loneliness may seem like opposites, “but the drive of each is similar. They’re both designed to keep us together.”

      Best piece I’ve ever read about loneliness.