I’m going to do this while I have my nerve, a story that burns inside, but it’s too personal to tell sober. Please forgive the typos and cliche’s that are certain to follow. Like the courage it takes to approach a stranger to open the door, this story cannot be told without supplemental encouragement.
I loved a girl once. Long ago. I won’t dare speak her name for fear that her happy marriage might be interrupted. I still love her, and on a night like this, when the fog has rolled thick and the haze presents a hazard to a walk in the woods, I think of her.
And she appears.
Not my girl, but someone with a resemblance that cannot be ignored, and I’m taken back so many years to one love that was unconditional. One memory. One mistake.
Sitting here, lost in my own world, forgoing the pretty dresses and long heels lost in thought, a specter appeared to me. The image of the one that I walked away from, and never should have. I’m left wondering if my loneliness comes from a fear of rejection, or a fear of success. Am I terrified that I might find another so kind, so forgiving, and willing to stand by my side through anything? Am I scared that I’ll toss her aside, and make another horrible error?
When two people break apart, it’s often concluded that the dumper got the upper hand, but that isn’t always the case. In my experience, it’s almost never the case. I’ve lost all fear of rejection. I’ve given up on the definition of ‘normal’ that almost every other human being seems to live by. I’m happy sleeping on a hard floor, not bothered by the frivolous things, to set myself on a goal, a target, a proposition of impossibility.
I’m am become the wretched which I have shouldered off so many times before. I have transcended the status quo, and for that I am scorned by my peers, unlovable, unfriendable.
I walk my own path, set apart by twisted thorny vines and beset by the scorn of others. I walk alone, and I have chosen to. But why?
Am I seeking the impossible? A career in which I have received minimal acclaim for my work? Starving myself to commit all of my money to that quest? Accepting the taunts of others to pursue an unattainable status? This I know not, but in the face of a ghost, I find a part of me that has been buried by the dust of time and the scars of life. Something I once had, and cast away in a moment because I was chasing some status quo. Youth is truly wasted on the young, and I am the embodiment of that proverb.
She stands there, tall, in plain clothing with no false accents. No make-up to mask her natural beauty. No cloth to draw attention. No scent to lure a mate. Tall, with penetrating eyes and tight curls, happy in her plainness. No man I know would call her a perfect ten, but she is my eleven, my long lost error in judgment.
I’m reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge, and his long lost maiden Belle. Something about that part of the story always touched my soul, and for a long time I had assumed that every man carried a Belle in his heart. A misstep. A failure to see what one has until after it is beyond his reach. My Belle married happily, as did Ebinezer’s.
Much like Ebinezer, I’ve placed attaining the cheese from the rat-race first for many years. I’ve had more money than I could hope for. I’ve placed other priorities before love, even before climbing the social ladder. I’ve lived, I’ve lost, and I’ve become the wretched scorn of my own life, now so afraid of happiness that it’s hard to walk a straight line sober. And it is often when I’m lost in such moments of reflection, that she appears, my long lost Belle. The one that loved me without any consequence. The one that made time to understand. The one that was so giving and accepting, it’s hard to believe she existed at all.
Could I love like that? A war torn, scarred heart is a tough thing to mend. Some doors when closed remain sealed forever, and with good reason. But even a well built dam will break, a steel door rust, and a forbidden spirit emerge. I sealed not only the fate of my relationship in that moment, but also my own heart. My pride, my drive for something frivolous, got the better of me, and forever welded shut the empty box that now resides in my chest. I want to love, but I also fear love, and fear that I’m now incapable of being that bright-eyed kid that I once was.
Some are torn by rejection, but I find myself ripped apart by the nature of my own ambition. I left Belle thinking there was something better out there in the world, for no boy could be so lucky as to happen upon the perfect person at so young an age. Now I find myself trapped by the opposite endeavor, for who could ever love a spent soul with no care for money or nice things, focused only on his life’s ambition.
I am the scorned, the wretched, and forever alone by my own hand. I am Ebinezer, and Belle is now forever out of reach. Thus, I throw myself upon the mercy of the universe, and hope only to do something good natured with my remaining years. I hope to ascend past pity and self-indulgence, even if there is not gold beyond the rainbow bridge.
I am. Simply, and without wanting. Without expectation for any kind of pleasure to call my own, but seeking to help others find theirs.
Good Night, and sorry if the email alert disturbed your slumber. Just had to get this out finally.