I am lonely tonight.

No, I am not trying to make a reference to a song. It’s just the state I am in. As usual, perhaps, I don’t even realize it. I start to notice a sense of bleakness and melancholy and I play music I associate with loss and grief and after a while I start to think this is all kind of Charlie. Then I start to understand that Charlie, at core, has been loneliness.

Verka has been everything that felt close to death: the sense of being tainted, the worthlessness and guilt, the existential questions it left.

And Charlie has been loneliness. That was the core experience of him.

So I am lonely. I am lonely because I am in the midst of creating a fresh start for myself of some kind and it underscores the loss of the old life and the people in it.

I wash dishes—I didn’t wash a single dish all day—and I make dinner (3 meals, up from only 1 two days before). And I think about this.

My feelings now relate to every other “fresh start” I have had before, and the loneliness and ultimately the failures I ended up feeling they were. There was, I guess, the start of college and that was really the first escape from home and abuse and also it was the start of psychotherapy. And that did not really quite do it. There was the move back to LA after two years on the east coast, a new job, the start of what seemed like a promising career, and a new therapist, and that did not quite work either. Later still, there was the break with my long-term partner (since college days) and that was not enough. And now.

Now is different, because I am confronting the full weight of the past at last. I hope it will be different.

Will it?

There is no way to know.