How Far is the Distance Between Love and Loneliness?
My aunt and uncle had one of those probably perfect marriages; kept together by the seams of an offspring, yet fated to unravel on my cousin’s wedding day.
Years later, another aunt, an indomitable mother, was so overcome with grief, that during her son’s abrupt funeral, she crawled into his casket, refusing to let him go, wrestling with his freshly shaven face and the fruitless odds of defeating a moment that will become a mournful memory. Earlier that same year, the cacophonous wails of my estranged aunt, a once stoic spouse now howling at her dying husband’s bedside, my distant cousins, standing — surrounding their newly dead father’s presence — all shedding tears of despair mixed-in with some weeping obligation.
Distressingly unforgettable moments that creep through my mind’s eye and wrap their timeless web around the fabric that has now become my perception.
Loneliness. How it slyly grips us, circumventing all of our attempts at escaping its shadow-like grasp. Like refugees of some natural disaster we cling to that which no longer belongs to us, carrying countless “what ifs” and untold “maybes” in a sieve-like grasp, carefully hoping to protect our hearts, the way sand quenches the thirst of a weak and tired traveler.
How far is the distance between love and loneliness? When an erudite boy becomes a prepossessing man, perceptually formidable yet privately vulnerable. Like porcelain, a physical prowess that feeds wanton jealousy and fuels outward desire, delicate and beautiful and so easily breakable.
Caught in his snare of strength, held together by the weak web of allure, suitors are left surprised, confused by this shiny armor that is only an exterior, serving to dazzle and attract but ultimately betray. Like a butterfly, fluttering from flower to flower, an essentially symbiotic relationship, feeding and pollinating, but never staying.