Alone is when you sit at a special gathering, a simche, amongst family and friends, but you are not one of them. You sit at the table with your friends, some even childhood friends with whom no secrets were hidden, no holds barred but now, with nothing to share anymore. Nothing to talk about. You end up listening to the repetitive heroics of shomrim and or hatzolah turning into quotes from this week's Limbaugh drivels chanted in unison only to wish you are truly allein.
Alone is when you sit in shul, passing time while the baal koreh reads and the gabbai pleads for silence. You sit with your friends, but you prefer to read Talmudic passages or Chasidic exegesis over joining the hushed conversation about the latest police chase or the season finale of 24.
Being alone is when you sit at the Shabbos table, test the kids on what they learned in school and you realize that the ones closest and dearest to you share absolutely nothing with what you truly believe in. They don't know you, they won't recognize the true you. Chances are that you may even die alone. Alone with these heretical thoughts.
Alone is something you can achieve with a minyan, a quorum of 10 or more. You are in a group, you fulfill their obligatory need, you pray with them, you are part of them, but you are alone. Only you look around with the same thought scurrying your mind “will they ever know better?”. Only you say the words and think about what they mean, how meaningless they really are. Allein.
Alone is also when you sneak out to be amongst the only people that get you. Former Hasidim, and the very few others who know enough to understand you, but there again you stick out. You are the only one that hasn't shed the garb. You wear the bekishe, Saturday night because changing it is a bigger bother than walking down the streets of Manhattan with it. You are alone because you look so.
Alone is a state achievable even amongst people who speak like you, act like you, and even think like you. Alone is not always a bad place to be in. It's the other times when I'd rather not be allein.