Unsuspecting me.  How silly I was. Driving innocently to work, listening to the radio, not at all aware that a bomb was coming.  I was singing at the top of my lungs, surely butchering Fall Out Boy’s latest hit when the radio made the swift transition from top forty hit to classic love song, arguably the best song ever written.

For a brief moment I was filled with happiness.  I loved the top forty song.  I loved the classic love song.  And then in a space just as brief, I was thrown into the grips of something deep and excruciatingly lonely.  My breathing became labored as tears began to flow, flooding my eyes so that I could barely see.  I dashed at the tears, trying desperately to stay on the road, to make it to work where the business at hand would remove any trace of the emotion I could not control.

Recently my sister cut my hair.  It was a dramatic change and when I went to work that next Monday, everyone was complimentary.  One man walked up behind me and as he complimented the cut, he touched the curls at the back of my head.  As his hands fluffed a lock or two, my eyes closed and my body stilled.  I didn’t know how much I missed that touch until I had it again.  When his hand dropped, I was left with a longing I could not explain or understand, not for the man but for the hand.  He remained completely unaware of how I was affected. I wish I had.

For three years I’ve lived the life of a single woman.  It’s the longest I’ve lived this way since I started dating at age sixteen.  Mostly I’m not lonely.  I’m really not.  Mostly I am happy.   I have a lovely life.  I’m very blessed.  But . . . .

I wonder – is this it?  Is this what it will be until the end?  God, is this Your plan?  I’m okay with that, truly, but I’d like to know definitively, just so I can stop nurturing hope.  I’d like to stop looking, wondering, “Are you him?  Are you the one?  Have I been waiting for you?”

It is impossible to make no comparisons between myself and everyone who has what I think I want.  I’d be lying if I said otherwise.  It is impossible to make no comparisons between my life now and my life when I had what I thought I wanted.  For a brief time, I did have almost exactly that, and when it ended it was the greatest personal sadness I ever carried alone.  My heart is now healed and while there is a scar or two, it isn’t for the man but for the feeling.  I miss the feeling.  I miss the hands in my hair and the happiness of a love song, even if it only lasts three minutes.

Well-meaning people will give me advice after this.  “Live your life now! Do things you love!  Go out, go be Jimmie, do what makes you happy!”  I love you, but I don’t need your advice.  I do those things.  I have a very full life.  Come spend a week with me.  See for yourself.  There is no pity, no injured martyr complex, no falseness in it.  I live. I love.  I do these things for me alone.  I am happy.

Well-meaning people will give me their opinion after this.  “It isn’t always easy, you know.  It’s work.  More work than anything I’ve ever done.  Be thankful you are where you are.”  I love you, too, but your life is not my life.  I know the work.  I’ve done my damnedest to do that work.  No one could fault my work, and even though I know it was work, I want the chance to work it again.  I want a fair shot at the work this time.  Fair play was not my lot the first go round, but I’d like for it to be my lot in the next one.  Maybe I’d just like a next one.

I’d like something to call my own.  I’d like someone to have my back and let me have theirs.  And while I’m asking, I’d like for it to be permanent.  But if that is not in the cards for me, if there is to be an end of hope, how do I let it go?  Do I wait for it to wither and die, curled like a dried leaf and crunched into a thousand dusty pieces when someone finally steps on it?  Or will it just gently fade away into oblivion?  And when?  When will it go away completely, because the lingering strands of it by turns buoys me and destroys me and I’m not sure how much longer I can take it.  God, what is Your answer for me? Please, just tell me.  I can take it, because at least then I will know.

Peter Gabriel, I raise a toast to you.  Whatever you wanted to accomplish with your song, it worked in me.  Well played, man. Well done.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vcraigparker
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 18:51:39

    Best love song ever written.


  2. antonia
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 18:57:09

    wow. just ..wow.


  3. willthom
    Oct 22, 2013 @ 22:29:01

    I have no advice or anything, but I’ll come fluff your hair if you’d like.


  4. Bootsie
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 07:31:48



  5. Kendal
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 16:52:08

    “just so I can stop nurturing hope” Wow that statement take my breath away.
    What will change if you stop “nurturing hope”?


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