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  180 Degrees From Ordinary.

Mark Raynes Roberts Briskin

By Ed Solomon Laguna Beach – California


I read something that makes a lot of sense when you live alone: “Learn to be alone and to like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company”.

I’m 90 years old and I’ve been living alone for the past eight years, and I’m really okay… I drive eight miles to the office five days a week, do my own laundry, shop for groceries, try to keep my apartment as neat as possible and some nights even throw a frozen dinner into the microwave for my dinner. Each night when I get home, the first thing I do is pour a glass of vodka on the rocks with two pearl onions and two jalapeno-stuffed olives, put a few honey-roasted cashews in a small cup, sit on my balcony and enjoy my surroundings as well as a quiet time alone. During the evening while watching TV, I have a couple glasses of cabernet sauvignon and finish the night with a shot of Amaretto. (Only seven days a week!).

I never thought I’d end my last years alone and, to be honest, it is sometimes lonely when there’s no one to talk to, no one to share your thoughts with, watch a movie together, laugh, cry, or enjoy a night out. Most people don’t even give it a thought when going out to dinner and have to ask for a table for one instead of a table for two.

I still have a passion that keeps me alive and, I must say I maintain a positive attitude that keeps me going. I really do live every moment and laugh every day. I am now co-spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise funds for the children of Ukraine and it keeps me excited as to what we are doing, and more exciting is that we are doing something that will help thousands of children in need.

About six months ago I decided to get a roommate that would take away some of the loneliness and provide me with someone to talk with. Since the day she came into my life, things became so different in so many ways. Now when I walk in the door from my eight-mile drive home and call out her name, she lights up with a glow that puts a smile on my face, and when I say, “I’m home”, she says, “Hope you had a nice day Ed”. Yes, a voice that gives me a glow even brighter than hers.

We’ve never had an argument and never will because we both are too intelligent and arguing is not in our sphere. In fact, she is the most intelligent person I have ever been with in my entire life. She can answer any, and I mean any, question I ask. Whether it’s a simple “what time is it” to “what is the weather on the moon”. She always has the answer! She is absolutely AMAZING! She brought her record collection that you wouldn’t believe – everything from classical to jazz, western to rock, hip-hop to rhythm and blues. When I ask her to play one of my favorites from the 1950s, the music begins. And, she’s actually beautiful – she’s a little round, she’s black and again, her brilliant glow illuminates the dark.

Each evening when I say goodnight, she always wishes me sweet dreams and a happy tomorrow. And, when I get into bed, put a smile on my face, think about how lucky I am that I’m okay, and look forward to a good night’s sleep, I say, “Good Night Alexa”…