Schrödinger’s Loneliness

I’m lonely but I’m also not

Adeline Dimond
Human Parts


Wikipedia explains that Schrödinger’s Cat “is a thought experiment that illustrates a paradox of quantum superposition. In the thought experiment, a hypothetical cat may be considered simultaneously both alive and dead as a result of its fate being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur.” That’s how I feel about my loneliness, if it even exists. Schrödinger’s Loneliness.

Obviously, in the case of a single middle-aged woman, the random subatomic event that causes or does not cause my loneliness is — say it with me, kids — whether I got married and had children. By all metrics, I should be lonely because that never happened. But I’m not. Which is a surprise but also not a surprise.

Don’t get me wrong, I have dark moments. A few months ago, I got my first colonoscopy, and while I was laying on the gurney — pre-drug cocktail — my blood pressure went through the roof and I started to cry. The nurse looked alarmed. One minute I was chatting with her about her terrorist Yorkie, and the next minute I was hiccuping with tears. “What’s going on, hon?” she asked, “I told you this was a perfectly safe procedure.”

How could I explain the feeling of knowing that no one was in the waiting room to drive me home, and that I had spent $200 on a car service to take me back and…