So much of my life and m experiences is colored by loneliness. 

At the beginning, I was alone for a long time. 

One of the first things I knew about myself was that I hatched from an egg.* I hatched alone, somewhere deep underground.

My first home was an expansive, sprawling cave system, a network of tunnels that connected great chambers so large, you could lose the walls for hours. Days. It was partially submerged, or perhaps partially dry, depending on the way you look at it, leading into an impossibly large and dark ocean if only you could find the exit. Still, there were lakes and flooded tunnels, enough to be my own private sea.

And there, I was alone. 

For how long, I cannot say. Years, at least. Eons, maybe. Into maturity, at least.

I grew in solitude. All that I learned, all that I knew, I found on my own, driven by instinct and curiosity.

The language I spoke… I don’t know if it was hereditary memory, or something of my own design. I still feel it in my mouth some days. Nothing like the words or sounds I know now. It was simple, evocative, abstract. It did not feel like sound in my mouth, but physical shapes.

I don’t believe I ever knew if I was an anomaly, or I was a member of some ancient race. If I came from a species that left its young to fend for myself, or if I’d been lost or abandoned, by accident or by design.

I lived in darkness, but it was warm, beautiful, pleasant. It was home. … but I was alone, and I was lonely.

Eventually… I found a way out. Or I made one. And there, I found others who spoke, who sung, who told stories and shared their companionship with me.

But none had ever seen something like me before.

And, in that, I was still alone.

*As a very small child (2-3), I used to “play hatching,” building myself pillow forts to burst out of like an egg and this was Very Serious Business for me. This was one of the first and most persistent memories and sensations of “otherness.”

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