It’s been said that life is a gift horse. And I suppose that’s largely true for those equines still cantering outside the glue factory. Though it does have its challenges. Some we dutifully submit to history’s consideration within these pages. Others are relinquished to men of keener mind. Yet few are so pleasurably perplexing as the challenge of navigating love’s rapids in the creaking vessel of man’s hopeless heart.
Before continuing, a question: are you like me in keeping attention trained on the tele-vision? If so, then you’re probably not so much like me after all. Though in scanning the news today for tidings of great cheer, I came upon a pap entertainment article describing the latest contrived kerfuffle in “The Bachelor” franchise. I am very familiar with this show having watched a few episodes in season two, I think it was. They must be up to what season four or five now? No matter. The article I came upon included a poignant letter penned by the jilted final suitor upon learning that the woman he loved had chosen marriage to another. Obviously, the contents of this missive were of a painful and profoundly personal nature. Which is why the (ABC) network withheld publication to only that small circle of viewers with Internet access. It can be read here…if for some reason you wanted to.
Therein you’ll find a completely common example of wretched pleading to a heart grown hard. He cajoles, he reasons, he appeals, he analyzes, he graciously accepts an unoffered reconciliation. And he concludes with what must surely be one of heartbreak’s most enduring lies: I hope you find happiness with him (at the bottom of the ocean). In this instance, as with so many others: dignity, thy name is silence.
But this was not to mock an aching young man, but to empathize with the humanity of what will almost certainly be a brief anguish. For hermetic video game maestros and sociopaths are among the few who have never felt the sting of love lost. I once in my youth fell silly, goofy in-love with a girl who subsequently canned me like an old tomato. My God what a heap of clothes I became. A hollow-eyed zombie bereft of soul. This bachelor’s pitiful meanderings were as composed as groundwater reports to the emotional boils I penned–fortunately never sent.
But with the leavening of time comes the realization: those were the feelings of being alive. Of viscerally perceiving the world in high definition. While so much of the drone of our lives, sadly, is not. And while our lonesome bachelor will not realize it now, as he gradually assumes the perspective of a man in his fall, spring’s vivid colors will likely be remembered quite fondly.