Monday, February 13, 2006

For L

What happens when all that you love, all that you care about is denied you? When, through fate or circumstance (or just plain bad luck) you finally find that person who understands you, who loves you despite your faults, who encourages you to do better, who eases you through the bad times and with whom you enjoy the good like you would with no one else— and you cannot be with him or her, and you are forced to live your life in an agony of self-denial and emptiness, to spend year after year endlessly longing for this person who makes you feel whole at last?

You lack the strength or the will or the courage to take action to change your situation. Or the opportunity never arises. What can you do except force your emotions deep down inside where they can’t surface? Except sometimes they boil over and you lash out at whomever gets in your way. Or you tear yourself apart, seething, loathing yourself, rotting from within.

Happiness comes when you least expect it, and sometimes you don’t recognize it until it has been taken away. What then? What if it’s too late? What if the only truth you know is what you feel in the moment, and the sense of what has happened only becomes clear afterward? You feel stupid, senseless, used, used up. Drained, hopeless. How is one to make life decisions in the midst of a whirlwind?

Opportunity knocks once and the door slams shut…and the worst part is, there is no warning, and all too soon the moment is gone.

What happens when you deny yourself happiness, or when happiness is denied you by society, by what others might think or say or do? What kind of toll does that take on you? Do you go on as before, or do you die slowly, one day at a time? You push the happiness and the thoughts and the memories aside, but every now and again they surface to torment you, and you wonder how things might have been different if only you had made different choices, if circumstances had been different, if only, if only…

So you stare off into the distance, holding on as best you can, wondering what might have been. And you drink to forget…

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