In the years before my departure for Saudi Arabia, at most times I viewed Valentine's Day with a clinical interest. Even during those times I was in a relationship, the event was little more than choreography. Of course my significant other at the time would be caught up with the event, so needs must I pay the piper and do the rollicking dance of romance on V-Day.
Hey, that didn't mean I was the proverbial Scrooge. There were tiny glitches along the way, and I'd wager my fortune that were it not for those cooties that gnawed at my brain and rendered me a blubbering mess, I would have gotten along without a Valentine's Day at all just fine.
I was chatting online with one of my friends one day (maybe last month) and I was sharing how it was difficult sometimes to get by WITHOUT some of the benefits of a relationship, and those benefits need not include sex.
It's for those moments when I'm low and there is someone I can call. She doesn't have to at her best, and it would be foolish for me to expect her that she'd love me back the way I'd like her to, so long as she loves me with all that she has.
It's for those moments when I experience personal triumph and she would be the first one with whom I'd like to share it first. Because she inspires me all the time, I would never lose the touch of her good sense (or wackiness, however it applies) in whatever I do.
It's for those moments when I'm playful/serious, and all I need is acceptance.
It's for those moments when I would receive unsolicited (and sometimes unwelcome) advice and I know I should have the good sense to follow it. It doesn't have to be the logical thing, but because it works for both of us.
It's for those moments when I need to be needed, because at times I feel my heart will overflow with what I have to give.
And most especially, it's for those moments when I need someone to hold, because that human contact gives me the courage to go through with this life, that somehow everything else makes sense, and that tomorrow will always mean a good thing.
Yet, ironically, those moments, outside of what I experienced and sometimes experience with my immediate family and closest friends, make up less than 15% of my life. Still, like gold, those are precious memories to be hoarded, and I even cling to the phantom ones where the passion was from a distance and completely unrequited.
I'm not altogether certain whether I've crossed the line of "aspiring" to "totally pathetic." It's all a matter of perspective (and you, dear Reader, however disloyal, can be the judge).
I wrote last year in an e-mail that graduated to this post that the business of loving is a 24/7 thing. Those thoughts remain to be true.
I'd like to think that there is still enough for me to share with a particular someone, though right now I could only love that way in my dreams. Still, there is the work, there is the grand passion of words and expression, and there is the giving without expecting anything back.
It should be enough. How I pray that she has already walked into my life and all that I have to do is trace her steps, and God willing, she'd allow me to walk her home. Or maybe there is just someone out there waiting for our lives to be joined by some essential accident.
Until then, I'm still here, breathing.