I have been alone before I knew what that word meant.
I drank down poems about solitude as a teenager and savored its treacly sadness, sweet like gula melaka and as smooth as P. Ramlee's voice wooing a sarong-clad school teacher in black-and-white cinema.
It was a melancholy romance that cushioned the bleak blow of surviving only on one's own limited energy reserves.
I grew adept.
I became a generator not just for myself but for others, stray travelers and passers-by. Generating light, warmth, and comfort.
It was such a delicious word,
filled with sad nobility,
the taste of dark cherries swirled with dark liquors Hades would not turn down.
Solitude became less palatable one day; it carried the bleakness of unwatered gravel. It was an isolation that had lost the romance of salvation.
Perhaps someone would change this fundamental condition— perhaps love or desire would transform this dynamic. This too was a romance, too luscious for words, like the libido-teasing scent of fingers burned by guitar strings or lychees, drizzled with the syrup of cane sugar.
That particular flavour died the night someone taught me that to be possessed was to witness my body transformed into a party I was not invited to attend.
It danced its own dance while my soul remained in a dark hall encircled by bleak mirrors; my face staring back at me as mathematics, theoretical physics, eternal debates circling around a priori versus a posteriori distracted me from staring at the dance that happened, separate from my conscious self, constructing a textbook endorsement for epiphenomenalism out of my profound dismay.
This too was foreordained within the confines of black-and-white cinema.
The generator switched off.
Switching it back on required a shift in frequency and voltage. I learned to embrace the bleakness and to reverse my polarities.
My generator is now fueled by dark matter exuding enough pull to repel and to swallow universes.