By Kate Shaw
(Illustrated By Shona MacPherson)

LK:i want someone to write a story about loneliness and isolation

thought 'sounds easy. i am always alone'

I dont know if i am always alone because i lack friends or because 'i just prefer it'. Last summer, my family moved house from 'the city' to 'the country'. For most 17 year olds this situation would probably seem really bad with there being 4 buses out of the village a day and the last being at 5pm. For some reason i didn't care and used it as an excuse to not see people i used to think i needed to see. Sitting in my new bedroom listening to Alanis and watching My So Called Life seemed normal, not having Facebook seemed normal and not replying to text messages seemed ok because 'how important could it be?' I didnt care about my friends from college because everything they did for fun seemed trivial, so when I had the chance to move to a school closer to my new house I couldnt think of a reason not to. Although in the end, that didn't work out because of exam boards or something.

Summer passed and i read The Perks of Being a Wallflower twice because i never got round to ordering the Bell Jar like Luce suggested. I rewatched every MSCL episode with jordan catalano in and listened to Watch The Throne all the time. I saw like 2 friends and everything was good.

At the end of summer i had to go back to college to enroll. I remember listening to Malibu by Hole really loud in a waiting room and thinking something like 'i cant do this' before my name was called.

I left and called my mother, crying, saying i wasn't going back. At the time this seemed normal. I think i was used to the isolation i had created for myself during the summer but most probably just really hated the other people in that room.

When i had to go back to college, my friends told me it was 'like i had dissapeared off the face of the earth or something' as well as 'your hair is so long now'. I just thought 'whatever' and laughed when my mother kept telling me i'd 'let myself go'.

Living in my new house meant i had to ride the bus to school, something i had never experienced before and had always thought 'shut up' when people talked about their 'bus adventures'/who cares.

notes from said bus journeys-

Feels like I hate school buses and generally being with people from my 'surrounding areas' for 2-3 hours a day.

In the AM everyone looks really depressed and one girl listens to 'who says you're not beautiful' by Selena Gomez 4-6 times throughout the journey. Seems she may be the 'worst off' of us all. Everyone averts eye contact which is good and stares out the window (the only thing to see is fields and sometimes geese/sheep/cows/horses). The best part about the journey is none of it/listening to No Doubt and The Ramones.

Feel like 'I wanna be sedated' on the A19 whilst also feeling 'everyone is lonely, bless 'em'.

When Tom Marymount sits near me/talks to me

I think why me/what is this/ jesus Christ/ what the hell. He says things like 'how's driving going then?' and 'what lessons have you had today?'

After monosyllabic responses, he talks about 'the gym' and 'work'. Can't relate.


School lived up to it's expectations of being terrible and my 'class mates' lived up to theirs as being morons. I went to lessons constantly feeling 'these people don't get it'.

I tried to 'care more' so bought a video camera with which i could create a great documentary about the trials and tribulations of myself. Turned out i was not good at 'engaging with the camera' and everything i filmed seemed bad so i read The Catcher in the Rye instead and felt content.

During my first term everyone was applying for university, something i really didnt care about. I didn't know what i wanted to do and didnt feel like talking about it. Everyone else did not take this view and spoke about offers/blah/entry points/open days/blah/personal statements 80% of the time. Can't relate/how can you care that much. Thought how can you pick a subject like maths or geography or something and feel so passionate. Feel like everyone needs to get over 'the future'. It just seems abstract.

I did apply though. To study Film and Media (i didnt have the camera at this point and the latter part could be desribed it as a 'rash' decision).

I chose it merely because the deadline was 'fast approaching' and i had to.

I dont know what will happen in September/care much at the moment.

So far in this 'academic year' no groundbreaking event has happened, no pivotal moment has arisen and yet everything is good.

I feel like isolating myself from people in my classes/everyone has become natural to me. 'Convenient' friendships in which you dont have to sit alone in lessons seem mundane and probably 'unhealthy'.

I still ride the bus and hate it. I still watch 'realistic mid-nineties teen dramas' for 2-3 hours a night. Watch The Throne is still too good and Gwen Stefani is still my laptop background.

I did however get around to reading the Bell Jar and really loved it.

Luce told me the 'moral' of this piece is 'art is what makes you happy'. Having thought about this for a few minutes I realise that 'to some extent' that is 'the case'.

(my so called life, Hole, the catcher in the rye, the bell jar, door wide open (didnt mention that one because i just finished it last week-love you joyce johnson.)

When we drove to Lake Gormire listening to Beyonce really loud i felt good (even though we drove home as soon as we arrived due to issues such as parking costs/no change/'bitter cold temp.) i did not feel this was 'art'. When we went to the convenience store and listened to The Supremes and waited for the best part of 'aint no mountain high enough' i didnt consider this to be 'art' even though i loved it. When Luce picked me up after a hard day at the office/college and put Stronger by Kanye on, oh no i think that may have been art!

idk im only 18 and 5 months..

LK: oh god

ah well to quote angela chase-

'Things were getting to me. Just how people are.'


I hope i don't have inertia- i do have a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged....god damn


Now i've written this piece, i've decided to study creative writing instead, so I think my life now has a purpose.


kate shaw lives in england