One Thing Impossible
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
On Rainy Days Like These
April 14, 2007, Lost in Transition:
“There’s only one thing impossible—that is to love and part.”
~ Mr. Emerson ~
“Yes, it is easy to feel lonely on rainy days like these,” I said in an a lazy attempt to console.
She half-smiled in reply.
However, her eyes belied the truth—heavy and drawn downward, they spoke of the heaviness in her heart.
She had recently ended a relationship—he had half-heartedly betrayed her. He had asked for commitments from her, but then, ultimately, decided that he was only half-interested himself.
Albeit, he was only half of what she had been looking for, she decidedly had given him everything. She had decided and told herself, “Why not?”
For once, she wanted to feel and give and love with all of her, sans reservation. She didn’t want to compromise her innate desire to love unconditionally anymore. Thus, he would do.
She explained, “I was tired of being cautious, tired of loving others at arms length, for there is no true satisfaction in loving safely.
Once and for all, I wanted to fall in love, be in love, simply love, love, love. I wanted to fully embrace someone and not fret over why or for how long. I knew that to love meant letting go, and really never knowing where you were headed to.”
Alas, as wise as she was, she also learned, as we all learn, time and time again, that our desire to love does not always align with those of others.
“We started out dancing splendidly together. And it was a truly wonderful, delightful dance. It really felt quite natural and pleasant to be with him.
But then he began, little by little, to grow tired of the dance. His heart gradually wandered elsewhere. And although he was being honest, he spoke callously about his feelings, or rather about what he wasn’t feeling, and eventually this got to me.
At first, I erroneously thought I could handle this impassion, that it was just ‘a phase,’ that he was lost in transition, and that I could simply hover in the background while he discovered whatever he was looking for.
Yet, I was quite wrong though. I couldn’t, and it hurt. Especially when he didn’t call or write or attempt to communicate for days on end.
And then, when he did, there was such a lack of enthusiasm in his voice that it was highly distressing. I kept quiet about it, I deceived myself into believing that it was simply because he had ‘a lot on his mind.’
However, the last time we spoke he professed ‘I’m sorry I don’t know what it is. I truly care for you. When I’m with you, everything is great. But then when we are apart, nothing is there.
In my last relationship I couldn’t wait to come home. I ached to see her. But with us, I’m not feeling that, something’s not right.’
Of course, as you might imagine, I was a bit frazzled that he was so blunt about his lack of desire for me.
Thus, I took it upon myself to end it there and then, once and for all. Much as I had decided to love him so unconditionally, I would stop doing so as well. I just couldn’t bear to accept his half-ass attitude about us any longer.
Yet, admittedly, even though I’ve had weeks—weeks—really plenty of time to get over this, I still ache from time to time, especially whenever I am inadvertently reminded of him.
Ironically, I’m inclined to think that another fast and furious affair is all I really need to break this torrid spell. Except that this time I just won’t put my whole heart in it. This time I’ll lust more than I would prefer to love. This time I’ll play it cool, rather than the fool that I so foolishly was last time.”
She then half-smiled again, but this time she looked at me, rather than down at the table. She then took a sip of her coffee and said with an even bigger smile, “I think the caffeine is kicking in. Maybe that is really all I needed to feel better…that, and talking to you of course.”
I put my hand on hers and squeezed lithely. I thought, “Yes, maybe…If only a cup of coffee could so easily remedy the woes of our heartbreaks.”
She seemed genuinely happier despite my thoughts though, at least for the moment. So, I kept these thoughts all to myself.
Instead, I said, “You know its easy to feel lonely on rainy days like these.
Yet, regardless you’ve just got to remember how fortunate you are—you’re bright, if not utterly brilliant; you’re incredibly talented; you’re in good health, in great shape and naturally beautiful to boot; and you’re absolutely extraordinary in so many ways. Moreover, you’ve got great friends like me to remind you of all this.
So, I’m confident that soon enough someone else will come along. And despite what has occurred, despite the pangs of loss that you feel now, you’ll be able to love again just as fully and unselfishly as you did before. You’ll forget your fears and plunge back in again.
Granted, it hurts now, but aching is the price we must pay sometimes for the privilege to love.”
She looked at me with smiling eyes over the brim of her cup, and after taking another sip, said cheerfully, “You’re right. I’ll accept my feelings gracefully; I’ll accept that it is okay to feel lonely on rainy days like these and feel consoled knowing that there will likely be many others who I will love and who will love me in return.”
I smiled. I smiled in return.
Charlotte: Mr. Emerson says it all his fault.
Mr. Emerson: Because I told him to trust to love. I told him “George, love and do what you will.” It’s what I taught him. So, you see it is all my fault.
~ A Room with a View, E. M. Forster ~