I wake up some mornings and loneliness just hits me. Like a tidal wave. Like a gush of wind left by a speeding train. I reach out my arms and grab the nearest source of comfort. Usually a pillow or the corner of my covers. I hold on to it and wish that it was a warm living body that would reach out back and hold me tight.
I mean, it’s not so much about wanting someone’s body next to me, as it is about wanting someone’s presence protecting me. I wake up feeling so defeated, sometimes. Like everything is for nothing, and I’m just passing time until the End comes.
See, the thing is, I live my life in a constant state of fear. What generally varies is the degree to which I can control the way I show and express it. But I am scared, almost all of the time, and the truth is… that arm that goes around you in the middle of the night and pulls you closer, or that kiss on your shoulder or forehead or hair, that moment when they feel you trembling, or sobbing or even crying, and hold you and you genuinely feel the fear walking away from you both, that is the most grounding comforting anchor I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s one of the few things I’ve ever felt in my life that has made me feel a little less lonely in this vast scary universe.
I wake up and everything feels just so impossibly cold and empty and stripped of substance. The idea of getting dressed and going to work weighs on me like a subtle urge to vomit. I can’t move, but I have to, but I can’t, but I have to. I cry. I compartmentalize. I move. I get up.
I value my alone time and space more than most, but some days, sometimes, being alive is too much of a heavy weight to bear on your own. It chokes you. The curse of being conscious of your inevitable demise, the burden of wanting to do something meaningful with your life and not knowing how.
I start panicking over the things I want to do and haven’t done yet, over the meaning I perceive to be lacking in my life, about every second that I’ve wasted not being who I want to be and not doing what I’m meant to do.
I think of the people I’ve had and lost, of the hugs that felt like home to me and that I haven’t felt in years. I get angry at the world for not giving me someone that will take care of me and hold me and make me feel safe, and then I feel angry at myself for even needing that in the first place.
Why can’t I warm myself in those mornings? Why do I make my sense of safety and security rely on the notion of strong arms, forehead kisses and man’s cologne? I should be enough for myself, shouldn’t I?
And I am. Most days. But some are so.very.cold. Especially in the morning. It’s always the mornings that get me. And as tough as I am, and as special as some connections are, sometimes all I need, all I wish I could have, is somebody else’s warmth, their arm pulling me closer in bed and their embrace keeping me safe from harm.
I think sometimes we all do.