There is a lovely, oversized, semi-woolen, red-and-black checkered shirt that I frequently wear and indiscriminately slip into every evening after returning to my room. Mind you, it is stolen property—I finagled it from my father when I was exactly 6 years old and wildly impatient to obtain a cape-like attire. You see, it was imperative for me and my playmates to have a superhero costume handy that evening in case it rained and confined us indoors, which it did. Thus, the thievery.
Years later, the shirt has lost its association to colorful tales of faux heroism and has become somewhat of a curio, only better: it is wearable, warm and immeasurably comforting. I might now associate it with home, or just homeyness, and on some days it is not even home that I miss, but a sense of belonging that I constantly find lacking in recent times—the past year, to be precise—making me feel adrift and lonely. It is not unique, nor is it novel; most people have this ‘loneliness’ complaint nowadays. The scale of this affliction is scary, and its direct relationship with the number of people alive today, confounding. But everyone finds their own coping mechanism, I think.(more…)