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Loneliness is a funny thing, it can be the worst nightmare youve ever had, or it can be the single most important event that happens in your life, the thing that makes you face up to the person who you really are, and accept for good or for bad your place in the world. Having ridden on both sides of this line, I have both enjoyed and hated the periods of loneliness in my life, I have found the strength to laugh in my isolation as many times as I have found myself drowning in self-pity.

Never does the worry of loneliness seem to hit the hardest but during the holidays. When friends ask me now how I celebrated last New Year, the only think I can do is smile and laugh (a little).

Let me take you back, there I can sit in my dark little bedroom, the candle on the table is slowly burning out, and the clock is ticking away, its 10:16 pm just 104 minutes to the New Year and I wonder if the candle will go the distance and keep me company in my vigil to the new year- I wonder how many other people on the planet are sat just like I am now- waiting.

Well as I keep pressing the ink to paper, buying away time into the New Year, the candle is growing weaker and weaker. It doesnt seem like the flame will last, and seems likely I will be starting the new year in a pitch black room.

As the light slowly fades, I struggle to see the lines in my note book, so my writing is starts to look like little zigzags of railway lines- I should stop, 2003s life is almost over. 2004 is already the darling of everyone. A real displacement, eh? Anyway, I am going to miss the celebrations, the chanting and adulations, the fire works and all that. I am lonely, but can not go out there in the wild where I have no friends, so I have no choice but to stay here in my room with only my notebook, candle and pen for company.

In the small village where I live the preparations for tonight have been going on for days. I can imagine the celebrations taking place now, the fun I am missing out on. They will be burning the Christmas tree, this reminds me of the scouts camp fire where exactly 10 years ago I sat singing, chanting and dancing away the last night of the year.

Something I have never been able to understand it why the celebrations take place at the end of an old year instead of the beginning of a new one. It must be close to midnight now; the candle has nearly burnt out completely. I wonder how people in war zones and troubled countrys are marking tonight- will they even recognise it as anything more than the passing of another day? I close my eyes and say a silent prayer, wishing them peace and safety in the New Year.

I wish I had a radio or television for another human voice to give me company. The candle is now burning faster. No! My candle should not leave me behind.  How I wish I had another candle to keep me going.

As the clock flicks over to midnight, and a new year begins I toast quietly with a glass of Coke from my local shop- a gift for my loyalty.


I plan to learn a lot this year, that is the only resolution I am making. I have big plans for 2004 and big dreams. To my friends who will ask where I was on the New Years Eve and New Years Day, I was in my lonely dark 'den' with my one companion, my candle.  Who, by the way, made it to the first glorious moments of the New Year. Thank you dear friend.

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