I’m alone with what’s left of my life
while the moon cuts the night like a knife
I am starved as the sigh of the stars
You’re the pulse in the rhythm of the hours
turned to years but the night never ends
You heal me you open the wounds again
and any promise of dawn of day
is so far so far away
The lullaby of loneliness
The lullaby of loneliness
~”The Lullaby of Loneliness” Aaron English
There are nights, and then there are nights. The cold is coming on, the days are dying, and the dark is rising, rising.
Fall and Winter were never my seasons, despite my birthday being buried in the depths of December. I take a chill easily, and the grey days and the long, cold nights make me sad and sleepy and lonely. And that’s during good years. This will not be a good year.
These two seasons were Dustin’s time, the time he was the most comfortable and alive. Ironically enough, his birthday was in July. But he was water, and there was something about the chill and the quiet that appealed to the deep, still places in him.
Spring and Summer are my time: the heat, the light, the fire. Life is everywhere; not slumbering, but running rampant, clinging and climbing and growing and being with an intensity that makes me feel alive. The warmth, reaching deep inside, wrapping my bones and pulling me inside out, a quickening.
But summer this year wasn’t any of those things. It was a drawn-out death, a drought. All that promise, all that potential, all that life: dead, gone, ruined, destroyed. Dustin….
So now I am girding for a fall and winter that promises to be among my most brutal-and I have already survived more than one brutal winter. Mostly, I am doing what I always do: I am getting nesty, withdrawing into my spaces, both internal and external. This is when I clean and organize and personalize my living space, and curl up in it with hot tea and soft afghans and Netflix marathons and good books. I cook and bake more and go out less and less.
I have been alone before. I’ve been lonely, both within and outside relationships. But this…this will be different.
When I left my abusive ex-boyfriend in the fall of 2010, I spent the winter afterwards in ruins. I was rebuilding my sense of self, my self-esteem and confidence. I had been wounded but I would not, could not, let him win. My intermittent sleeping problems became chronic, I had nightmares, but I knew all I had to do was slog through it and I would be whole and happy again. I knew whatever he had tried to do, whatever poison he spread, I could beat it and be better than I was before.
Dustin knew all of this, of course. I could not hide the jittery remnants of abuse from someone who was even more intimately familiar with violence than I was. He was always careful to touch me with gentleness, even in passion. He was giving and genuine and supportive in every single way that the other had not been. He could heal with a look, a touch, a kiss. And he did.
So now, as I withdraw into my hobbit hole for the season, I am more acutely aware than ever of Dustin’s absence. He should be here with me, we should be cooking together, snuggling, sharing hot tea and silly movies and popcorn. His heat should be warming my bed, like his presence warmed my soul. Beyond a physical chemistry that could set stone afire, we found an intelligence and depth we’d never known in another before. We fascinated each other, and now it’s gone.
I don’t feel the optimism I felt the winter of 2010. This loneliness cuts like nothing else. The sun goes down and I am colder than the temperature warrants, and nothing I do seems to warm me. I am cold in my core, in my soul. I vacillate between wanting someone, anyone, to talk to, and wanting to be alone. But I don’t want to be a burden on someone else. This is exhausting enough to go through; dragging someone else through it with me seems unfair. So I struggle on and try not to wear out the ones I can talk to. But I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this lonely before, and I don’t know how to fix it.
I have no earthly idea what I’m going to do.