“Me? I’ve been lonely my whole life for as long as I can remember, since I was a child.  Sometimes being around other people makes it worse… When you’re young, you think its going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close – as close as you can get – to another person only makes clear the impassable distance between you.”

“If being in love only made people more lonely,
why would everyone want it so much?”

“Because of the illusion. You fall in love its intoxicating, and for a little while you feel like you’ve actually become one with the other person.  Merged souls, and so on.You think you’ll never be lonely again.  Only it doesn’t last and soon you realise you can only get so close, and you end up brutally disappointed, more alone than ever, because the illusion – the hope you held onto all those years – has been shattered.

But see, the incredible thing about people is that we forget.  Time passes and somehow hope creeps back and sooner or later someone comes along and we think this is the one. And the whole thing starts all over again.  We go through our lives like that, and either we just accept the lesser relationship – it may not be total understanding, but its pretty good – or we keep trying for that perfect union, trying and failing, leaving behind us a trail of broken hearts, our own included.  In the end, we die as alone as we were born, having struggled to understand others, to make ourselves understood, but having failed in what we once imagined was possible.

How to be alone, to remain free, but not feel longing, not to feel imprisoned in oneself. That is what interests me.”

He spoke of human solitude, about the intrinsic loneliness of a sophisticated mind, one that is capable of reason and poetry but which grasps at straws when it comes to understanding another,
a mind aware of the impossibility of absolute understanding.
The difficulty of having a mind that understands that it will always be misunderstood.

“But as it stands, true empathy remains impossible.  And so long as it is, people will continue to suffer the pressure of their seemingly singular existence.”

“And mistreat each other, won’t they?”

Ray nodded. “Horrendously.”

(quote from “Man Walks into a Room” – Nicole Krauss)