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Once upon a time, I relished the thought of being alone. Remember being a teenager? Remember that moment when you’re standing at the threshold of adulthood? You knew you’d figured out all of life’s mysteries. The world, however, insisted you were still a child in need of protection and guidance. You were still under your parents’ stronghold, required to follow their rules. I remember that time in my life vividly. I couldn’t wait to be alone.

Being alone represented independence. It represented the freedom to do or say whatever I wanted to say. It represented the autonomy of going wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. It represented the ability to make my own choices. Being alone represented adulthood.

I was alone for a long time. I was alone at college, first in a dorm room, then in my own on-campus apartment. I was alone after college when I moved into my parents’ coach house. Being alone felt fantastic. I had no curfew. I had no one telling me what I should or shouldn’t be eating. If my plans suddenly changed, I didn’t need to “check in” with anybody.

Unplanned jaunt to a concert in Milwaukee? No problem. Impulsive road trip just to see how far we could take I55 before running out of gas? I’m there.

Then one day I wasn’t alone. I had a constant companion. He was the first person I saw when I woke and the last person I saw before I fell asleep. When not at work, he was the person with whom I spent every waking hour.

Last minute party invitation? Let me check with Jack. A weekend in New York? I’ll have to talk with Jack. Shall I purchase rice milk or almond milk? What do you think, Jack? Is it cold in here? Do you mind if I close the window, Jack? I’m hungry. Are you hungry, Jack? What would you like for dinner, Jack? Where should we order from, Jack? Do you think their prices are too high, Jack? I’m in the mood for pasta, but, if you’re not, we can always order from another restaurant, Jack.

And now I was alone again. This time, however, it didn’t hold the same appeal. After seven years of not being alone, the word no longer represented independence. It no longer represented freedom. Being alone now represented boredom. Being alone now represented loneliness.

Do I want your unused theatre tickets? No, thank you. I have no one to go with. I should try that new restaurant? Thanks, but I couldn’t possibly dine alone. “Saturday Night Live” is hilarious tonight, don’t you think, kitties?

Stephen Sondheim wrote that “alone is alone. Not alive.” Never did words ring more true. I’d taken to talking to my cats for crying out loud. If I was ever going to get through this and move forward with my life, I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. I was going to need a therapist.

"Avery in the City" is a narrative drama following the story of a recently dumped Guppie who—with the help of his a therapist, best friend and a Xanax prescription—rediscovers how to live out loud.
Although inspired by a true incident, names have been changed to protect the guilty.

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