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A Look Into Loneliness

Updated on August 2, 2013
Gazing through the snow.
Gazing through the snow.

Flowers and Alcohol

With the hands of the antique clock hanging loosely on the thin drywall of my apartment - there are no sounds, save for the clicking, monotonous noise of time draining slowly away. The Adam's apple beneath my throat's skin bobs in rhythm to the minutes descending in to the void we can never retrieve. The case of beer I had been working on is almost empty, I note to myself. My vision before me swims in the darkness of the cramped space I call home. All light are shut to spare me the truth of how disheveled of how my life has become. The empty bottles of beer are littered all over the worn out carpet - dripping their remaining contents in small, shining pools. I licks my lips and they are dry with a want. My throat is sore - crying out for a relief I have reveled in for far too long. I am too lazy to drive to the liquor store down the street, but thirsty (addicted?) enough to force myself to do so.

There is a biting winter breeze sweeping through my thin jeans as soon as I step out of my beat-up Jeep. There are no pedestrians on the street - all are at home with their loved ones. It is Christmas after all. Snow swirls around me in an entrancing dance and I languidly swipe my hand through the air in an effort to trap a snowflake in the palm of my hand. I open my closed hand to see I have caught nothing. As I stare at my empty palm, a snowflake finds its way on the surface of my skin and instantly transforms into a tiny pool of water in the center of my palm. I gaze sadly at the broken snowflake now dissipating from the heat of my flesh. Memories come from a time of abandoned space as suddenly as they are forgotten. Travel back to a time years before, and I feel the same loneliness which has been haunting me since I was a child.

My hair is being ruffled by a large hand - a mitt, a paw, a claw which has both held me tenderly and struck me with violent, unjustified anger. My eyes look up to see a face resembling mine, staring back at me with eyes washed away from years of addiction.For a moment, I believe I spot a flash of guilt grace his eyes, but then he would look away before I could decipher exactly what is going through his mind. He passes me a poorly wrapped box and my little hands eagerly work through the loose wrapping. In it, is a motorized toy car. I could barely contain my excitement and he lets a small smile spread across his face at the sight of my happiness. He passes me the controller and we spend the last remaining moments together on Christmas morning in our own bubble of undiluted joy.

That night, large and powerful arms pick me up by my underarms and carry me tenderly to my bed. For the first time, he plants a lingering kiss on my forehead and mumbles something into the sheets of my bed. My mouth forms the word, daddy, as I recall seeing his hulking figure depart my room and shut the door, cutting off the the sliver of light of seeping in my room. I was left in complete darkness - a child - bewildered from the sense of finality exuding from my father. Suddenly, a loud bang rocks the very foundations of our apartment and I instinctively hid my entire body beneath the covers. I shook violently, praying for the good Lord to protect me from the end of the world. Another ear-splitting bang rips through the air and I scream my little lungs out in an effort to release the terror traumatizing my body in violent waves. My memory flashes forward to the sounds and sights of bright flashing lights. An officer with kind eyes gingerly pull the blanket off of me, but I vehemently pull the only sanctuary I had back to my chest. He assures me I am safe, and I eventually believe him.

I am brought to the hospital and put in a room all alone. My eyes are wide open as I stare at the blindingly white ceiling above my bed. I am left alone with my thoughts. My face contorts into an expression of pain, but no tears sprout from the well of my soul. A nurse with dark brown hair enters the room with the largest, brightest smile I swear I had ever seen. The look on her face briefly twists into one of empathy, but she never lets the joyful shine fade away in her face. I curl myself into a fetal position when she sits down by my bedside.I cannot look her in her eyes. She looks too much like my mother. She whispers my name and I squeeze my eyes shut in an effort to wish myself away to a world where nothing could hurt me. The smell of flowers waft around my head and I slowly open my eyes to a vision filled with bright colorful flowers. For a moment, I believed my wish actually worked. The nurse had laid a bouquet of an array of flowers ranging from white daisies to yellow sunflowers beside my huddled body. I inhale their sweet scent and feel a wave of calm relax the tense muscles in my weak body. Hesitantly, I reach out and allow my fingers to graze the petals of the flowers - so soft and alive beneath my fingers. I turn to thank the nurse, but she had already left. I regret never having the chance to thank her for her act of kindness I thought to not exist in such a world I grew up in.

The jingle of bells and smiling, warm faces during the holiday season brought only terrible instances of nostalgia upon me - memories I wish more than anything to erase from my mind. Every year, I wonder to myself why my own father had to take everything away from me - to strip me of my very humanity and break me down into only a fraction of who I could have become. The loss I suffer through is irreparable and it tears my insides to know I could still have a mother and a father to greet me on Christmas morning, but the reality is, happiness is only a distant memory for me.

Endless, would be the best word to describe the time I have to myself. What’s the use in caring about anything any more? There are no reasons. There is only the ever-constant thirst for the bottle driving me forward into the future. A bleak future I cannot bear to see with a sober mind. Again, I bemoan the tragedy forever stamped upon my life. Too much of my pain has been associated with people, humankind - I cannot bear it. Long have I been disappointed with the relationships I have formed in my past. No matter how hard I try no one seems to want to stick by my side, but I have never shed a single tear for any of my losses. The search, the journey, the longing for companionship, has ended early for me in my in life. I constantly question the motives behind my desire for love. My suspicions are only proof that I have been broken one too many times.

The aching thirst in my throat bothers me to a point of pain. There is but one other on the road - she captures my interest the moment I lay my eyes on her. Beautiful? No, not at all, but brilliantly interesting. I love her instantly for her aura alone - the glow that appears to envelop her entire lithe body in the bleak darkness of a winter night. I immediately want to claim her as my own for reasons even unknown to me. Numerous questions are stuck at the back of my throat, wanting to be released from their prison, but I lock them back up, and throw away the key.

I watch her in silence. She leaves her car with her black coat ruffling in the wind. Her brown hair swirls around her in cascading waves and I feel a stirring of warmth coat my chest. She shivers and I do too. My legs make a bold attempt at crossing paths with her, but she changes her direction suddenly, and bolts into the shop beside the liquor store - a floral business. I stand outside the door and peer into the brightly lit shop and see her enter the back room where all the flowers are kept. In a few moments, she comes back out and is now wearing an apron with the obnoxious store's logo plastered over the front. My heart melts at such an endearing sight. Her hands are grazing the colorful daisies and sunflowers with gentle fluidity as she smiles at her boss. I smile too at the sight of such loveliness.
There is a gnawing urge to step inside the shop, but my legs refuse to budge from their position.

I continued to merely gaze at the woman who was working on a Christmas night. My eyes involuntarily filled with tears as my vision swam with both the falling snow and the illuminated view of the mysterious woman. I contemplated on entering the liquor store, but she captivated me long enough to forget how just how much I yearned for a drink. Because, for once, I did not feel so alone.

Sunflowers and daisies
Sunflowers and daisies

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    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Hello Rosie:

      Awesome story which flowed with such fluidity and beauty-I must say. I can almost sense the sheer loneliness that you also experienced on that bitter mid-winters christmas eve. Love how you take your readers on that journey with you into the barren and infinite realms of loneliness. I can see you are already a very accomplished writer by your unique writing style. And at this time I would like to welcome you as a new writer to hubpages. You will soon find that our community of talented online writers are not only very supportive, but also very friendly. Welcome aboard and if there are any questions that I can answer in the future about our site, please feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to answer your questions. Happy writing!

      Jlbowden

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