Through a Glass Darkly

"Do you imagine," says The Secret, "that you are the only one who doesn't feel like you belong anywhere?"

Up until that moment I was imagining that I was reclining like an odalisque.

For a moment, I realize what we have in common. Both of us trying to reinvent ourselves by using different names. Neither one of us able to find a people, a home. What it is to be truly unique.

The difference in us, of course, is Hope.

I should have stayed in bed. Kept laying there imagining that I was an odalisque.

After The Secret leaves, though, the phone rings. As I get up to answer it, I look out my window. And I see them. The two I introduced. Walking hand in hand.

What is it The Secret said to me earlier? "You have needs."

Yes, needs.

It's true I do have a need for physical affection. Not just sexual, but affection. Hugs, caresses, hair stroking, hand holding. I don't just enjoy being touched. I need it.

Sure I have needs.

But looking out that window, I know it's not just the physical affection that I need. And how long have I gone on without this other thing, love or even genuine affection? How long have I gone on with just the hope of it? And then the false hope of it? And then the remembrance of the hope of it? And now I just out the window at it. This is about as close as I am likely to get to it ever again.

I know I won't be able to go back to reclining. I will get dressed. Go back out. Flirt. Tease. Torture. And for all the smiling and hugging and kissing, it will be empty. I shall stand there on side trying to drink enough vodka to make the emptiness vanish.

There's never enough.

There's a guy at the bar-I keep him at arms length. Claims he has been watching me for months. I hope he comes in so I can ask him, what is it that he sees?

What is it that you see when you look in a glass darkly?

A couple holding hands across the street-unaware of the girl watching them from the window in tears.

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