e started suffering separation anxiety, clinging to friends at the end of parties and nights on the town because she didn’t want to go home to an empty apartment. She fell for men who were fantastically undeserving of her attention and had her heart shattered when they were too dip-shitted to return her affections. The willfulness which gave her the gumption to achieve so much in life had become contorted into a neurotic and inappropriately forceful desperation.
Sandra became, what many men would call, a psycho. A clingy mess. Danger. Ultimately, love interests quickly withdrew, assuming her biological clock was ticking like a metronome out of whack.
But Sandra isn’t a psycho. Far from it.
Years ago, I saw a documentary about a man who was making a solo trip around the world on a sailboat. The filmmakers wanted to study his reaction to this extended period of solitude. On the first leg of his tour, the man was fresh-faced, self-possessed, a sailor courageously staring down the vast sea. A bit later, he wore a disheveled beard and hummed to himself off-key. Even later, he’d developed weird tics and was maniacally talking to himself. Finally, he was slobbering into his soiled shirt, beating himself in the head, pulling his hair out and screaming incoherently at what must have been hallucinatory phantoms sliding across the surface of the ocean. I feared another month and the poor bastard would be painting the side of the boat with his own blood.
Thus, the documentary successfully demonstrated how loneliness can make a person flippin’ nuts.
When you’re on the other side of a person’s moment of madness, it’s challenging to be tolerant. After someone has shown up unannounced at your pad or brought you a bouquet of roses on your second date, giving them another chance may not be such a tantalizing option. Of course, some people really are stalkers. And when they are, damn straight you best run.
However, lots of people on the planet have been alone so long they go into places as scary for them as it is for their love objects. It’s easy to call someone crazy, but it’s a lot nicer to remember how loneliness can make a person do things they wouldn’t normally do.