Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
After a certain amount of time, my cable box says, “This box is about to shut down due to inactivity,” but what the box is really saying is, “Loser, you have been watching television for too long.”
This is the future. We can never hide from our vices.
In Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Claudia Rankine writes about life, death, memory, loss, depression, attempted suicide, the pharmaceutical industry, late nights, television commercials, race, identity, America, the way we were post 9/11, loneliness and so much more.
On the death of Princess Diana and the way the English mourned:
Weren’t they mourning the protection they felt she should have had? A protection they’ll never have? Weren’t they simply grieving the random inevitability of their own deaths?
For the one who forgives, it is simply a death, a dying down in the heart, the position of the already dead.
It’s what we can’t do for each other.
On a thirteen year old boy, tried as an adult, for murdering a six year old girl when he was twelve:
The boy was tried as an adult or he was tried as a dead child. There are no children anymore, at least not this boy—this boy who is only a child.
On Coetzee’s Disgrace and a friend who remarks that all women have been raped:
“Then I think, maybe that ‘what woman hasn’t been raped’ could be another way of saying ‘this is the most miserable in my life.’
This book is full of sharp insight and lyrical prose poetry. I cannot recommend it highly enough. What I really love, though is the title, the implied imperative. Don’t let me be lonely. As if she is addressing all of us. As if she is placing the responsibility for loneliness in our hands. As if it could be that simple.