The distance

Eyes On Me was on repeat mode, with Faye Wong’s voice echoing in his head. And then, there was this familiar surge of emotions.
How would he classify this period of his life?

In truth, he had no idea. Is it the “rebirth” that he has been looking for? With more people leaving than entering his life, he was prepared for a drab end to the year. Granted, the turn of the new decade was better than the horrid year that was 2009. Still, he was compelled to tread carefully.

With less than a month ago before he officially becomes middle-aged, he didn’t like the dread of having to deal with well-meaning wishes for the new year of his life. Or even to give an honest explanation – for the umpteenth time – to people who may not have the slightest idea why he hates it whenever the day of his birth draws near.

He thought he had dealt with it there and then when the shrink looked on sympathetically after he told her where and when it (the hatred and perhaps, the pain) all started. Somehow, it so scarred him that there was no way he could get it out of his system. Nor did the shrink have the luxury of time to work through that with him.

So, he stands on the cusp of a new year. But he no longer feels hopeful with the “newness” of it all. Because every other year feels the same, be it the old or the new. Hope is now like the discarded piece of soiled tissue paper (or worse, sanitary pad), sitting in the bin and waiting for its eventual destruction.

Even the sliver of hope – something he had created for himself – on the horizon failed to lift his spirits. Or even the laughter of people who have entered his life on this part of the sojourn.

For all that have unraveled, there has never been a greater sense of disconnection between these and his thoughts or emotions. Perhaps the new strategy – subconsciously developed – was one of distancing himself from thoughts that may unsettle him and the semblance of serenity that he had so painfully crafted.

Just to get on with this life. Plod along. See where this gets me.

Sometimes he would gaze forlornly at the young couples, wondering to himself (yet again) what it would have been if he was bolder. The joy and the sadness would have been more intense. But the first wound inflicted on a young heart would bring about the most excruciating of pain. Yet, the joy, the first blossoms of love, would ensure a lifetime of unblemished or unforgotten memories.

But where he stands – physically, emotionally and mentally – seemed, and perhaps is, so far removed from the moments the couples were sharing with each other. As much as it seemed “as though” his time had passed, it already has.

It’s all about clutching at straws now.

Yet, when he looked into the eyes of one who had to put up that strong front despite all that hurt and pain swirling within, he knew there was another world – grey, foreboding and gloomy – that awaits. Far from putting the final full stop to the story, pretense was a more practical solution.

He might find himself there one day. Another big gaping wound to deal with. Another scar to carry for the rest of his life…

But there would be the smiles, the laughter, the lifting of hearts, the hugs, the accidental brush and the looking into eyes. A place which long eluded him. A time and place, where his heart would be finally set free from its self-imposed captivity and self-inflicted abuse.

All that he could do now is to wonder when that day and that place will come.

Will it?