What drives people to hermitage?
Is it the desire to hear the sound of the ocean falling against the sand, listening to it when you go to sleep and when you wake up?
Is it feeling your pillow grow wet as you lie there trying desperately to find refuge in sleep while listening to four normal, healthy, functioning, unbroken people next to you quietly exhale and inhale?
Is it waking up every day and lying still for hours, beating back reality?
Is it getting so drunk and so high that, when you listen to your friends at the bottom of stairs tell you everything is going to be OK, you can barely comprehend them—that you realize language is useless to express how much you disagree or even how you disagree?
Is it knowing that one year from now you will feel absolutely the same, except alone among a great swath of people are who are not alone, who have learned to build meaningful connections in their life; who are also normal, healthy, functioning, unbroken; who will look at you with great pity and tell you everything is going to be OK; who will not understand when you begin to throw staplers at them from a great distance away, all the while yelling incoherently about oceans and pillows and refugees?
Is it feeling vulnerable all the time, guarding each thought jealously behind what must now be miles and miles of defense mechanisms?
Surely it must be all of these as each one is tolerable, surely if we are alone then it is better to know that we are not alone in being alone, surely there is meaning to what looks like happenstance, surely someone will come and pick up the pieces we shattered into and make us whole and warm and comely again.
And if none of these is surely, then surely there is a cave out there with our names on them, right at the perfect intersection of sand, ocean, and sound.