When you’re lonely, where do you go?

A cafe, a bookstore, and a luxurious grocery shop

Anton Kutselyk

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Here’s a photo of me going somewhere

Today I feel lonely. Before, I would urge myself to find the cause of my loneliness. Now, I’m learning that — unless the reason is obvious — it’s better to accept the feeling and focus on things that would carry you towards feeling unlonely, loved and befriended. Those are antonyms. I checked.

In the morning, I tried to go with the ordinary flow. I sat in my ordinary place in the living room. I opened my ordinary laptop. I worked my ordinary work. After three hours, I felt how the digestive juices in my guts were boiling. That loneliness started to really piss me off. Now I was angry and lonely. Something had to be done. I bared my psychological fangs to suck the strength out of my boyfriend. He refused to be sucked out. The walls in my flat started to press on me and I had to flee somewhere.

Somewhere happened to be one of the cafes in the city centre. I like that one particular place because the street is pretty and not too crowded. When I got there, all the seats outside were empty. I chose the best spot. I sat. I puffed up like a pigeon and crossed my arms to save internal heat. A waitress came. I ordered a small filtered coffee. She said what? I said a small filtered coffee again. She said ah okay. In a minute, a cup of small filtered coffee was standing on my table. In five minutes, filtered coffee was in my guts and neither cold nor warm wind was blowing on the empty cup. I realized that what I need is not to sit but to walk. I paid via QR code and left.

When I’m lonely, where do I go? It varies, but the key is to go, to walk, to stroll in a lookout for something to unlonely you. I didn't hesitate for long. I went straight to a bookstore nearby. There, I carefully examined quite a few books in the English language section. After leaving my fingertips on many titles, I took a book called Book Lovers by Emily Henry. I based my decision on a colourful cover, very accessible writing in the prologue and a GoodReads rating that I checked before buying the book. I felt a little bit less lonely. I found a physical thing that speaks to me. Maybe we can be friends?

I and my book friend left the bookstore and went all the way down to Khreshchatyk — a mesmerizing central street in…

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Anton Kutselyk

I live in Kyiv and write about war, peace, books and coffee.