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September 23, 2013
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I took a school trip to Europe this summer.

To be honest, I don't remember much of it anymore. It's all a blur of rushing through crowded streets and cramped bus rides and crowds of foreign languages. When I look at the pictures, in fact, I can't seem to recall taking most of them. I can't even tell what some of them are supposed to be.

Our first stop was Paris, France.

I hated it there. It was dirty. Smelly. Crowded. Disgusting. Wherever we found ourselves, disdain was the only courtesy that was shown to us by those who called the City of Light their home. It didn't even matter that I loved each inch of history that was told to us by our guide - I just wanted to go home and get away from the squirming, teeming atmosphere that clung to me like fog on a rainy day.

We spent three days in Paris.

The first day is nothing but a fractured, bone-weary mess in my mind that consists of walking and walking and eating and walking and listening and walking and walking. The second day is simply bits and pieces of a sleepy bus ride through the city and walking in the same steps as Marie Antoinette in Versailles and looking down into the sludge-filled depths of the Seine. The third day is merely the Eiffel Tower.

The loneliness I felt that day had been suffocating.

I walked up 674 steps by myself after the rest of my group had gone ahead. My bones ached. My heart ached. I ached. By the time I got to the second floor of that 1,062-foot spire and silently stood up against iron netting that served as a guard between the sky and humans, I realized I was completely alone. It did not matter that there were hundreds and hundreds of people swarming around me. It did not matter that below me there were more than two million people going about their Parisian lives.

I was more alone than I'd ever been before.

The sun was setting by the time I'd arrived at the second floor. My fingers were curled around the cold metal as I stared out at the glittering mess that was called "Paris." Even up so high I could still smell the effervescent stench of cigarette smoke, sewage, and moral decay. The sounds of the city were drowned in the ominous din of so many people speaking in so many different languages as they stood and watched the sun fall behind skyscrapers and clouds. I looked around me - at all the people who came from so many places who had someone with them - and I could not keep it in any longer.

I cried.

My group had melted into the crowds and like a little child, part of me was panicking that I'd never find them again. But deep down, the reason that my eyes couldn't stop leaking was because I was so utterly alone. Here I was, gazing at one of the most beautiful sites in the world and all I could see was a grotesque, ugly, repulsive scene because I had no one to share it with. My one "friend" whom I'd thought I'd be cavorting with the entire trip was somewhere off French kissing one of the two only males in my group. The adults I'd stuck close to up until this point were just another pair of people in the roiling human sea. I was alone.

Twenty minutes later someone found me.

I was sitting on one of the only vacant stone benches on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, shaking and whispering to myself and curled up in a pathetic little ball. I remember it being the two mothers on the trip who I had managed to bond with; they were so worried and when they asked me what was wrong, all I could do was shake my head. They assumed it had been because of the height and the strenuous climb up and the lack of sleep working against me. I didn't argue with them. They helped me all the way back down and I didn't speak for the rest of the day until we got back to the hotel, when my "friend" asked me what happened.

I merely told her that the world we lived in was so goddamn beautiful that it was ugly.

I never told her - or anyone else - that it was because I had been more alone in that moment than I could handle.
I needed to get this out.

And even today, I still feel that aching desolation that makes me want to scream.

Some days, I can't tell if I love this beautiful world or if I despise it and all its monstrousness.
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:iconstygianwolf:
StygianWolf Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You despise human vanity, yet you are a human yourself. Case closed, move on.
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:iconrikibose:
rikibose Featured By Owner May 26, 2014
the emotion of loneliness is universal, and I for one certainly sympathise with you. it would be beautiful if we all, all existence realised its connectedness and existed together. until that day...thankyou for sharing your experience.
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:iconlilyhellsing:
LilyHellsing Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
Question, just curiousity; how old are you? o.o
Not to judge or be snappy, I'm just trying to figure out a mental image of the writer haha :)
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:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You are a wonderful person for going through all this. And then telling us people on deviantART and giving us support in a form that's just... it's special to me, really.

Thank you.
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:iconprussianpersephone:
PrussianPersephone Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Today's lesson: don't travel the world without someone you care about by your side.
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:iconespada-kitsuki:
Espada-Kitsuki Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't want to travel alone, anyways. It'd be such a quiet trip. And no one there to listen to my rants on how awful/awesome the place is.
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:iconhaphazardmelody:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
...it really is different to view the world by yourself as opposed to with someone else. It's hard to be surrounded by a crowd of people but sharing with no one. I feel like I get this. :heart:
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:iconcornersofreality:
CornersOfReality Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

I'd just like to say... thank you.

Thank you for sharing with the world something that I too, have felt.

Thank you for being honest and open when I've been too afraid to be.

Thank you for letting me know that I'm not alone.

 

Loneliness hurts.

But for some reason, after reading this, I don't feel lonely at all.

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:iconprussianpersephone:
PrussianPersephone Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Loneliness does hurt; but no as badly when you're with other lonely people.

Thank you for reading.
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:iconcornersofreality:
CornersOfReality Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

That's kind of true...

And I feel like it's kind of the same with loneliness in general; loneliness is worst when you're with others, rather than feeling lonely when there's no one around you...

It's the loneliness with others that really makes you feel awkward and insecure, but most of all, lonely.

Of course. Your work is amazing.

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