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Carol Perkins: Breaking out of Solitary

Previous Column: Needing a vacation

By Carol Perkins

A Three Dog Night song popped into my head as I was driving home from Glasgow last Wednesday. Not a single word other than the opening was familiar, but the title flashed before me like a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. "One is the Loneliest Number" isn't a song on my playlist. It isn't a song that lingers in my head like "On the Road Again" or "Country Roads." I hadn't thought about the song before that moment down the Cumberland Parkway. I've NEVER thought about that song, yet suddenly, it was riding in my mind with me back to Edmonton.

On this particular day, I had been to the T.J. Pavilion for an ultrasound on my swollen leg (everything was fine). Other than two trips to Ace Hardware in Edmonton and my radio show on Tuesdays, I have been staying inside. When I went to the waiting room at T.J., I recognized a familiar pair of eyes above a mask that belonged to a friend whom I had not seen for months!

We couldn't talk fast enough. That limited time lifted my spirits. Then, I engaged in a conversation with the ultrasound person who graduated with my niece. We had a wonderful conversation about what he had been doing since then. I couldn't wait to call her in Jacksonville, Florida to tell her about our meetings. I had something "new" to share!

My Louisville friends inquired about coming down for Memorial Day, but I told them I wasn't ready yet. As much as I wanted to be with them, I couldn't take the chance. I haven't seen my children or grandchildren for months because we want to be safe. The number of people I see during a week other than Guy is almost limited to one... my mother. One is such a lonely number for both of us.

I am not a solitary person, although I like being alone sometimes. I thrive on being with others, listening to their stories, sharing the latest about children and grandchildren, hearing about their home projects, laughing about funny moments, and all that goes with socializing with friends. Functioning without others is nothing more than---functioning. I have my moments when I like to be quiet and passive, but not for months at a time! Guy is such a different personality. "One" is not a lonely number for him, but one that he embraces. He can be very sociable, but he is as happy being alone as he is in a group. He could go for a year without seeing anyone. I am not that way. I NEED people.

That reminds me of another song, "People who need People are the Luckiest People in the World." I'm the luckiest person in the world! I need others to complete my happy life.

Carol's new book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-06-05 06:48:45
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