There was a moment, as I was laying there next to him in bed, that I thought he might be mine forever. And then he murmured the sleep-sodden words "I love you", drink still heavy on his breath, and I realized how, though I could move my hand but inches to touch him, he was lost to me forever.
Now, years later, as I sit on a pew in church, surrounded by friends and familiar faces, that same feeling rushes back and brings tears to my eyes. The feeling of knowing his arms around me, of talking and discussing life and the world, the feeling of being home...and then the dawning realization that none of it was ever mine to keep.
I've had many loves since then. Other men. Myself. But still, as I sit here, the speakers saying the familiar messages, the hymns I've known since childhood...still, I find this place doesn't belong to me--these people. Still, I have that deep unsettling reality that this, too, is temporary. Still I search so that I will no longer be alone.
What do you do when you find yourself desperate--for those loving arms, for that feeling of home, and for that place where you belong, are comfortable, where being is easy--but with nowhere to turn and no arms to hold you? Those who would, are wrong and false. Those that you wish, won't or can't or shouldn't.
So easily I fall into the arms of those who are willing. But they don't know me. They don't understand this need to burn, to run, to fly. Sympathy is not what is needed to sustain or fulfill. But my kindred spirits are destructive. They seek to run away, to escape with flight, to burn to ash. I wish to fly to see, to run to explore, to burn to enlighten.
How long has it been since I've found one that understood--someone who feels that the distance I have placed is a challenge, not a demand. How long has it been since someone filled this void in my heart and hopes? Years, surely, since the song of my heart has been lightly played with masterful fingers of understanding and study--of genuine, unselfish concern and love for me--the same love that I have for them.
That is the ghost of my heart and soul--the ghost that I live with daily. The memory of a feeling I had once, which makes all else superficial in its poor attempt at comparison.