It’s a funny thing, to be alone. It’s not at all like we imagine it, either. Our dreams of relaxing on a moonlit beach, the silence ringing in our ears, they aren’t real. Or maybe we dream less drastically – maybe all we want is to lounge in an empty flat, unbothered by the noise and clutter of others. That’s not real, either, though. The real thing – the real prospect of being absolutely, completely alone – is much bigger, and much more intense.
First, you will feel the fear. You will realise that relaxation is impossible because that moonlit beach is haunted by shadows. The silence is there, but it isn’t blessed; it’s thick and crushing, pushing in on you louder than any shout or drumbeat ever could. You glance nervously behind you, terrified of everything that you can’t control, just as you do in that empty flat, because that’s not safe, either. It creaks, and makes strange noises that make you jump and stare at the door.