I remember that once, in primary school, I went out for break and immediately just sat down outside the classroom with my lunchbox. Some minutes later the teacher saw me and asked what I was doing. The break was in fact only after the next period and my entire class was in another classroom. I am not trying to illustrate how bad I am with time and schedules (I have mostly learned to handle such things). Rather, this shows just how isolated I was from other children. I did not even notice there were no other children about – I would not have been where they were in any case.
I have learnt to interact with other people. I am no longer as cut off from them as I was when I was young. However, I sometimes feel like it is all just pretend. As if inside, I am still that little boy and that (almost) no one has managed to reach him – because he is out of reach. That little boy is sometimes lonely, I admit that, and I should try to let him out more of the time. But often he is also merely alone, content with his own being.
Here is a poem that expresses the contrast:
I speak, but the little boy is silent
I smile at you, but the little boy smiles at his own thoughts
I laugh at your jokes, but the little boy laughs at the book in his hand
I enjoy your company, but the little boy is impatient to be alone
I make myself known, but the little boy hides away
I bellow with confidence, but the little boy stutters
I hide my tears, but the little boy wails unheard
I talk to you, but the little boy wishes you would talk to him