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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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A Recipe for 21st Century Loneliness, Served Recession Style


by James Rawbone


Having lost your job you will now be able to avoid the obligatory plastic chit-chat at the water cooler, or the teeth grinding necessity of being civil to customers. Then reduce any contact with friends and family to short, bland civilities to dodge any questions about your (now long gone) job. By doing this you will thus lose any meaning in these relationships which will then wither of their own accord.

 

Add a soupcon of fear. Generally a vague nervousness about the hooded youths who skulk menacingly on street corners will be enough. Next, stir in a television for entertainment and give the illusion that you are still connected to the outside world,. Garnish with alcohol to dull senses and induce a vague sense of well being. Stew in a well heated house for anything from six months to three years and voila, if you experience even a slight temptation to venture out, everyone you meet will be strangers. This will reinforce that original sense of fear. Soon you will find that, though you live in a sprawling city of thousands, that although you can hear your neighbors through the thin walls, you are utterly alone. Serve immediately with angst and a feeling of over-riding emptiness.