There’s a certain inevitability to the whole endeavor. Writing it down, it appears as though I may have given up, which I wish I could say wasn’t the case, but for honesty’s sake, I have. I don’t mean to make my plight sound more grand than it is, though for me it comes as a bittersweet epiphany, that in spite of my heart’s desire, despite what other’s may say in contrary to my own belief, I am destined to be alone.
I know. Maybe I’m not qualified to speak in matters of the heart. I admit that I’m too close to see my situation clearly. All I have to speak from is my own experience. So, after searching and hoping for someone, of fighting for and losing countless times, of having my heart pulled out and my emotions drawn out on public display so that the world could see me at my most vulnerable, I have decided to retire. I cannot stomach another heartbreak.
Love. We call most profanities four-letter words. So many are and I’ve come to regard love as another profanity. Many see it as a blessing, but I’ve grown bitter as each subsequent betrayal and rejection tore me down that all I see is a curse. Love is my curse. I am accursed. My heart has been damned.
My issue is that I’m not free to love. My love comes with conditions, though ironically I fall in love freely. I fall in love too easily, and the pain of not having that love reciprocated haunts me. Once I tried in vain to forestall that misery by only becoming involved with only the facile and the shallow, and it worked at first. I gave in to companionship of the body, but my mind and soul desired more.
I wanted someone complex, subtle of mind and spirit. I needed someone to compliment my own desire for knowledge, and perhaps someone who surpassed me in order to force me to grow. But the price is that those who I desire need someone who compliments them, and those types have demands of their own. Most don’t subscribe to keeping secrets, at least the kinds of secrets I have in my closet, but to open myself to them has only ended in being rejected, no matter how delicately they try to do so.
I am not my own man. I don’t know how others like me have found love and kept it. I try, and when I fall in love and desire that sort of intimate connection, the type that compels me to give myself completely, I have no choice but to tell. I’m met with the same response, so often that I’ve come to believe myself defective in some way, unworthy of love and companionship.
I look into the mirror and it has become an abyss. I no longer see the man the world sees. I see a hollow man, a vacuous shadow. I have become more and more of the other sort, the one who believes to his core that he should have been born a girl. I don’t care what people say about gender and sexuality, that women don’t subscribe to needing a man. My experience is that they do expect their men to be men. I seem to be neither, though I wear my mask well enough to fool most.
The last rejection was the final blow, my last hope. I fell in love despite my precautions. I gave in to her when I knew well that allow her to see me would doom us before we had a chance. I told her and before I knew it, she gave me the tired excuse that she wasn’t’ ready to date.
So I give up, ready for a change. I think I see a curtain fall in the future, though I hope to delay it as long as possible. I had hoped to live long enough to maybe find someone who could tolerate me, even revel in my absurdity, but hope can only go so far.
I’m exhausted, and the hour has grown late. Love is fickle and I suppose it has passed me by. I’ll go quietly into oblivion’s outstretched arms. Perhaps in the nothing I will find a measure of peace. At least there, there will be no need for pretense any longer.
Next story – Noticing James Smith
Previous story – The Storyteller