Welcome to Lonerland
I am a loner, but itâ€™s ok.
Superman is a loner.
Tarzan is a loner.
Spiderman, Davy Crocket and Xena are loners.
Elvis tried to pass himself off as one.
The Lone Ranger, Tonto not withstanding was a loner.
Humans have evolved as social animals designed to live in groups. Civilization will go on whether we attend the block party or not. It will, whether we say hello and talk to anyone today or not.
Civilizationâ€™s old habits, learned in bygone times when survival depended on all our sticking together , have in fact become liabilities.
In each nonloner lurks a tiny loner struggling to get out. Just as many, if not all loners possess, within them an uncanny knack for entertaining others, many nonloners possess, deep down in them, a secret touch of lonerism. An impulse, a yearning - it lies dormant nearly all the time, knowing that the outside world would hardly make it feel welcome.
It knows, this loner within, that it is safer hidden. Yet now and then it is confronted with a rare welcome in the form of some song or comic book and it springs out: clumsily, a bit insecurely but hungrily.
Elvis crafted his public image carefully and consciously, vaunting himself as a loner - more of a loner than he actually was, some insiders say. But he knew the new genre he was spawning was all about alienation. About being misjudged.
Idle chatter is the soundtrack to small towns, a music that drives most loners mad.
Staying apart from others - a lot, a little - renders us different. On bad days we are called crazy. On better days, though still not good ones, we are called eccentric. There is virtually nothing you can do about it. There is no escape.
They say isolation drives you crazy. Sure it does - when you canâ€™t get enough of it.
The capacity to be alone, without experiencing loneliness, hence the capacity to enjoy your own company, is a sign of personal maturity and perhaps the acid test of mental health.
Alone does not necessarily mean in solitude: we are not just the lone figure on the far shore. This is a populous world and we are most often alone in a crowd. It is a state less of body than mind.
Loners are all types, subjective and objective thinkers, religious and atheist, soldiers and screenwriters and supermodels. We are the group that is never a group, that sneers at groups. We are a subculture that will never join hands, a group whose voices will never form a chorus.
All text is taken from: Party of One: The Loners Manifesto by Annelli Rufus All photographs by James Abrahams. With thanks to Chris Bigg. For your guidance and understanding.
Final Major Project featuring text from Annelli Rufus' book 'Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto' alongside original photography