How do I ‘cope’ with loneliness? That’s the rather blunt question that I’m asking myself this morning.
My initial response is one of denial. I’m one of the lucky ones and loneliness is just not something that I feel. That’s not to say that loneliness doesn’t exist, rather that I block it out by keeping busy. A few years ago, I’d find it impossible to sit still on my own for an evening. And so, I’d go to the pub or to a gig. I might not speak to anybody when out but I’d see people being sociable and having fun. That was enough to ward off any of the lonely spirits lurking at my door. In recent years, I’ve got better with solitude. I like my own company more. But I’m not sure I’d like it as much as I do if it wasn’t for the online conversations that I have through Sonic Breakfast – or the hours of zoom calls that I have with the day job.
I conclude that I ‘cope’ with loneliness by feeling connected; that connectedness might be illusory but I’m happier to kid myself than to get rid of the comfort blankets I’ve created.
Fiona Brown’s single from last year, My Void, touches on the same kind of thought process. Amidst a chilled, almost trip-hoppy ambience, Fiona creates a character who’s experiencing the extremes of loneliness – and finds that the only way to counter such feelings is to indulge in online shopping, go clubbing or to manufacture an alter ego. The video compounds the dark themes present in the tune; in it, we find Fiona stripping away at the layers she’s deliberately added to keep the wolf from her door.
Fiona’s living in Antwerp. Her debut album ‘Mundane’ will be released over the next few months. My Void helps to whet our interest before that. In a really bad effort to lighten the mood, I ask Fiona how the supermarket shelves are looking with UK goods post-Brexit. “I think we still have marmite“, says Fiona. “So I do wonder if it’s secretly continental made!”
If you’re currently feeling lonely, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are all in this together.