Reflections of Solitude in the Night

The night has finally descended, and I sit alone in a room on the tenth floor of the apartment. Everything feels familiar and natural, but suddenly I notice that the small objects in the room are increasing. For others, it may not seem like much, but for someone like me, who leads a transient life, it’s quite a collection. I’ve visited a few friends’ rented rooms before, always finding them cramped and chaotic, which I find hard to endure. I’d rather have nothing, just a few books, a Mac, and three pieces of clothing, packed into a small suitcase, wandering in City A today and idling in City B tomorrow.

Of course, that’s impractical. My girlfriend used to patiently tell me when I complained about having too many clothes, “Life inevitably comes with these odds and ends.”

“I guess you’re right,” I thought.

I bought an electric bike, thinking it would make getting around easier. However, today I found it quite troublesome to charge. Moreover, leaving it outside means it will endure wind, rain, sun, and the wrath of irritable passersby, making me uneasy. But in this crowded and chaotic environment, it seems difficult to provide it with proper care. So, I’ll gradually resign myself to letting it be mistreated. I’m considering selling it for a cheap price after a while; I need a bit more freedom.

Outside, I hear children laughing; on the rooftop opposite, a couple spends their evening peacefully; a beautiful girl in the lobby, her tired eyes glued to her phone; downstairs at the night market, few people roam while the vendors sit bored, waiting for unknown customers. My phone remains silent, no messages from her, no messages from him. Ah, it’s all so mundane.

“Life is just a boring journey,” I thought.

I head downstairs to the small restaurant at the village entrance to buy a bowl of noodle soup. There’s only a man in his fifties or sixties and a girl of about twenty in the shop. Naturally, the man is in the kitchen, and the girl is serving. Even though there are only a few customers in the shop, they seem busy, keeping the man oblivious to the passing years and distracting the girl from the pain of heartbreak.

“How nice,” I thought.

After finishing my meal, I step out of the shop and meet the man walking towards me. “Enjoy your meal?” he asks with a smile.

“Yes, thank you,” I reply politely with a smile, even though I know I don’t look good when I smile.

I walk into the nearby park along the seaside. The wind by the sea is strong, and the tide crashes against the rocks, sending up white froths. There are few people in the park tonight: some jogging, their shirts soaked in sweat; some happy couples strolling along the waterfront; a lonely girl sitting on a rock by the water, watching the surging tide, listening to the wind from the sea. And I, too, am alone, strolling by the sea, lost in my thoughts.

I can’t seem to shake off this feeling or emotion. It’s like a non-lethal poison that keeps me living in this chronic pain, unable to find happiness. I always long to understand the meaning of life one day, but I always doubt its possibility. Perhaps an ordinary life can only be so wasteful, and since I am an ordinary person, why not choose this path? I should choose this path.

Friends say one should keep busy to keep melancholy at bay. There’s wisdom in that. Life should be lived this way, spent in a rush, with as much outward interaction as possible and as little introspection as possible. Let it be consumed by ignorant joy until its end, leaving behind some joy and memories for others, while for oneself, it’s a form of numbness. Occasionally, there’s some poetry and wine to lament the passing of time, to reminisce about the beauty and pain of youth, to long for that first love, to savor the madness and ecstasy of lovemaking in those years. Eventually, we all grow old, gazing at this boiling world, helpless. It’s somewhat sad, but look at those miserable old dogs and cats; they choose to quietly fade away.

“So shall we die,” I thought.

But life is ultimately an inexplicable mystery, a dream. For everyone, regardless of age, whether it’s carefree childhood, budding youth, ambitious adulthood, stable middle age, or deteriorating old age, it’s all the same.

I think I’m sick. So, tomorrow, I’ll bravely go to the hospital to repair my body and, more importantly, to repair my spirit.