Every night I sit alone. As the rest of the world settles down at the table with family and friends, my need for food or comfort was relinquished long ago.
Every night I go through the same movements; a choreograph that I have perfected through countless hours of practice. I lean back in my chair and relish the cool touch upon my lips, the hard glass curved within my hand. A type of foreplay if you will. A quickening of the pulse, a tightening of the muscles, a clenching of the jaw, a grasp towards the antidote to all ills.
My thoughts thirst for a break from these relentless anxieties, the constant hammers of ridicule, the criticisms that fall like hail on a cold, winter’s night. My body has become exhausted, a weary statue of sinew and bone. If the worn out shoulders do not betray the ache, then the evidence can be found anywhere upon the face; the deep furrows across the forehead, the dark colours beneath each eyelid, the corners of the mouth that no longer rise for hope or happiness.
There is only one desire left in this ruin of humanity, one yearning which pumps the heart until its dying day. It is a lust which shadows every movement, every tick of the clock, every sigh, every blink. It claws into the very recesses of my mind, the folds which once held such life and laughter; it colours my thoughts, it overwhelms my senses. My taste buds yearn for the cool touch, that feeling of relief as liquid gushes down my throat, a servant that has returned to its master.
Every night it offers solace. In a world filled with endless tears and burdens it delivers no judgement. It is a hand on my shoulder, a lover of tears, a microphone of internal thoughts and the deep, unconscious secrets which have never seen the light of day.
It is a caress that does not forget, a name that slips from the tongue like a lover. It is a companion who will sit by my side, a therapist who will listen without interruption, a beloved who will share in the deep anguish that clenches around my heart.
And yet, it offers something more than just mere companionship – it offers a type of happiness.. a euphoria. That feeling of awakening, of arising from the slumber of a body tied down by fatigue, of a doorway being unlocked and the warm glow of sunlight softening the muscles and the eyes.
It is a light at the end of the tunnel; a different world altogether. A different body. A different mind. I am floating above everyone else; I am human, I am normal. I can laugh, I can chatter, I can joke, I can dance. Heck, maybe I can fly.
I am loved by all. I am filled with value; I deserve this place upon this earth; I pay for the air that I breathe and the blood that rushes through my veins. I deserve to be alive. I am more than just a human being; I am more than water and blood. I am one with the world; I am the air that wafts through the dark autumn nights, the leaves that sink with a gentle sway. I am the earth itself; I am the soil that nourishes life, the seeds that give rise to hope. I go through a baptism of fire and am transformed; I am reborn into a world in which I have firmly built my home.
And then comes the crash. Lines of bottles stare back at me in judgement. Tiptoeing to the bins, the clinking of glass in the garbage.
The plans cancelled; the friends lost; the opportunities wavered; the hope gone. All for those soft lips touching my own.
Who needs a lover when one comes home to such caresses and promise.
Who needs a friend when one is held in the arms of such comfort.
Who needs a job when one is offered all the secrets of life through such a small vessel.
Who needs a life when it is not even worth living.