Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sunday Nights: Melancholy In The City

My wife and I went downtown on Sunday evening to try a new kosher restaurant that opened a few blocks away from our old neighborhood. The colorless January evening made me recall all the Sunday evenings I spent alone in the city. It reminded me of a time in my life when freedom was not coupled with fulfillment and happiness.

When I was single, my friends were often busy on Sunday evenings preparing for the week ahead and I was left by myself with nothing to do. To occupy this time I usually went out and took a walk to different parts of the city.

Returning to the city almost a decade later, the city still seemed to be an empty place. As I walked on the same sidewalks that I walked hundreds of times before, I could still sense loneliness and melancholy in the air.

I returned home from the city to see the smiling faces of my children and was comforted with the knowledge that now I am no longer alone.

9 Comments:

At February 2, 2006 at 6:48:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Lovely post. I think cities are inherently lonely places and exacerbate the loneliness single people sometimes feel. You must have really gotten to know the city intimately with all that Sunday night walking....

 
At February 2, 2006 at 6:52:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yes, so much so that I don't know how to drive down there with all the one-way streets.

 
At February 2, 2006 at 8:52:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

Believe me, the loneliness felt by a single person can permeate the suburbs, too. But I guess, in among the concreteness and stone cold walls of a city, it might be felt even more...

Beautiful word portrait.

 
At February 2, 2006 at 9:02:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: I am sure it can. Is this where you experienced loneliness in your life?

As always, I appreciate your kind words about my writing.

 
At February 2, 2006 at 9:06:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

ASJ, I grew up in the 'burbs and still live there.

But you should know, that "loneliness" can still be felt today by me (regardless of a loving husband and children), even if I'm in a room filled with people. Loneliness can be that feeling of "not belonging" in general; it isn't always about "not belonging with/to anyone."

(remember those shul posts of mine...)

 
At February 2, 2006 at 9:10:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Certainly...one can be in a crowded room and still be alone.

 
At February 2, 2006 at 9:14:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A quote from last year on this subject

 
At February 2, 2006 at 12:58:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

Another great post today!

I grew up out of the city, and I found it so depressing THERE. To me the city was full of excitement and life. After living in cities now for many years, I find the city so lonely and empty of anything real, and I long for the country... strange.
But when I come home (albeit in the city) the faces of my family trnasport me from the external world to a place that is quite warm and full of life. It is even hard for me tear myself away and go back outside to daven maariv...

 
At February 2, 2006 at 1:53:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I liked your last paragraph, Chabakuk Elisha. Our homes are certainly a world within the world.

 

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