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Living Alone With Others

Living alone with others (LAWO).


There is no solution to living alone with others, despite what psychologists and other experts say.  Millions of people share a roof with others but live alone because there is no interest in each other, which leads to less communication, the occasional good morning and finally dead silence.
People in the LAWO reality somehow feel ashamed as if they are personally responsible, so they mask LAWO with anecdotes of wonderful partners, kids or grandchildren and whip out cellphones, the great show and tell.

Growing kids rule out any possibility of LAWO because watching them grow prompts conversation, some form of interaction: how they look like a great grandparent; their intelligence (at 2 years); their hurry to become adults; advice to parents and mapping strategies about blending being born in Canada and raised with values from somewhere else. 
We shall rule out teenagers for now because they are already LAWO in the basement of their parents’ home or in their rooms with posters on the door: PARENTS KEEP OUT.

Living alone with others (LAWO) is the last stop after several attempts to board the bus using appeasement.  It might be taking up golf, cycling, following them on Twitter, red hair dye to support political affiliation, preparing nightly hot dinners consumed in silence or going to San Francisco every summer instead trying different cities.
Divorce is no solution, although it is a piece of cake for the wealthy or celebrities, but not for many folks who cannot afford renting, let alone buy another house.  In the novel Sweetness, a rich South African couple is LAWO in a house joined by a bridge.  That is money for you. 

Divorce or legal separation comes after the dead silence stage when the LAWO senses unabashed hatred.  That is why TV murder mysteries of husbands and wives killing each other with the hope of not being caught, attract viewers.  That route is not possible with kids or the extended family.  The LAWO just hurts more.
Living alone with others can be attributed to many things. Retirement, for example.  There are two individuals, one working outside the home and the second one working full time at home to make it possible for the other one to work outside the home.

A classic case of interior and exterior however, it brings out veiled LAWO because partners that spent most of their active life outside the living quarters might not notice that the other partner is LAWO.  It only dawns on them after retirement, when they feel like intruders, into the life interior partners built for themselves while they were in absentia.
Cultural living alone with others can be more punishing.  Grandparents in the old country insist that they want to see grandchildren born in north America and Europe.  Daughters in law try to resist it to no avail.  Grandparents arrive dressed in clothes from the old country and carrying certain cultural or religious symbols.

Daughters in law resist it but sons want to appease their mothers. Grandparents finally realise that their powerful old country status is meaningless abroad.  They go back to the old country or remain in Canada and the U.S., living alone with others.
LAWO is a natural condition, not a medical one.  A human being is born alone and dies alone even for that wonder of nature called twins.  There are stories of twins marrying brothers but they will die individually.  
Some people leave instructions that they want to be buried in the same grave with their husbands or wives because they know that death is alone.
By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.



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