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Withering Leaves

Updated: May 31, 2023


Friday, April 21st, 2023


Every now and then, somebody comes along and reminds me of what it’s like to connect. I can always tell it’s something worth savoring, so I try my damnedest to breathe in every last moment of it while I can. I imagine feeling this experience is as sweet as cherries but as bitter as lime, because I know the connection will not last forever.

It’s like the smell that lingers on the pages of a new book, but the penetrating, inevitable feeling of reading the last line. Like seeing the beautiful autumn leaves fall only for them to wither, or like feeling the embrace of a loved one, but also the assurance of their farewell.

No matter how raw, sharp, or potential-filled the connection is, it always seems as if it’ll never be enough. Never enough time. Never enough attraction. Never enough humor. Never enough flirting. Never enough touching, excitement, experience, arrogance, or fawning!

Never enough.

Neither does it ever seem like the right time or the right place, the right person or the right reason for anyone. Maybe the word ‘right’ ought to be changed to ‘perfect.’ Maybe then it might make more sense.

So if wallowing in my own self-pity implies that I will come to qualms with the nature of people—with their half-hearted attempts to explain their fear or their unattraction, their pitiful excuses to make themselves feel better at the expense of others, or when they say one thing and mean another—then who am I to question it? Rather, who am I to question millions of years worth of biology and evolution; to question the certainty of God and nature of which don’t owe me a single, damn thing?

It’s funny. I imagine if people would only listen to and follow their hearts, the world would be a lovelier place. But who am I kidding? A man shouldn’t say that. Because if I were the perfect embodiment of a man—one who did not cry, who did not speak of his sorrows and tears, who did not care for feeling or emotion but only for orgasm, and who did not speak of his problems and fears—then perhaps I’d be accepted.

“I wish they would take me as I am.” A sentiment so beautifully expressed, I wish I could weep as I repeat it aloud, for its weight on me is unfathomable.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am who You created me to be. And if that intrinsically entails solitude, then I’ll willingly drink from the bitter cup of emotion that follows it. If it brings me closer to You and allows me to know myself regardless of the ache in isolation, then I’ll drink.

However, if love itself were to be offered to me inside a silver chalice, I’d still refuse it. If the excuses for connection and the least bit of human decency, let alone something like love, are as ridiculous as “it must be the perfect time with the perfect person,” then they’ll never be worth the total price in comparison to what I’ve already had to pay for a mere fraction of their experience! Amen.

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