A Loveless World 8/24/22

Self-Loathing with Richard Bleil

You don’t have to read this post.  I expect it will be very self-serving as I’m feeling extremely blue today and will probably be too harsh.  I haven’t even started it but already am near tears.  But that’s okay.  Sometimes we need to cry.  It’s cathartic, and no, this is not a suicide note.  I’m fine, so don’t worry about my motives.  But I was watching another damned romantic “comedy”, and they often have the effect of making me feel my loneliness far too deeply.  As per usual, when I feel like this, I like to write about it if for no other reason than so other people who might be feeling the same know that they are not alone.  I am right there with you, and we’re okay.

Philosophers like to argue as to whether or not our perception of the world represents reality.  The argument stems from the idea that our senses, our sight, hearing, smell, taste and feel are our only true connection with the world, but these are nothing more than electronic impulses fed into our brains.  How do we know that our brains are interpreting these signals in a way that is consistent with reality?  In fact, perhaps even our perception of our senses is nothing but an illusion.  It seems like a nonsensical argument to me (and I often joke that I had universal indicator in my chemistry stockroom so I know the universe is real), but it’s rather more profound than it might seem on the surface.

See, my world, my entire world, is centered on me.  Yes, I know it’s much bigger than me, and no, I’m not arguing that I’m the center of the universe, but my universe is centered on me.  It’s my perception of the world from within my own body, and limited to my own experiences (which, yes, includes the writings and teachings of others).  This is my world, my entire world, and my world is devoid of love.

Now my friends are upset with me, at least the ones who read my blog.  Yes, I am surrounded by love, and I know that there are many who do love and care for me.  But I hope that my friends realize that what I’m talking about is a different kind of love.  I’m talking about the love of a spouse.  I’m talking about touch and tenderness and, yes, sex.  I’m talking about the fact that I’ll die without children, and that I’m aging without grandchildren.  I’m talking about feeling like a widower without the benefits of happy memories. 

I told you it would be self-serving.

But this is something that I feel deeply, something that I think anybody would.  A friend of mine was talking on her social media page about how she’s been feeling indigestion lately, and how she thinks it might be stress related.  She asked how best to handle this, and among the plethora of homeopathic remedies in the replies, I simply suggested touch.  Physical contact has been proven to relieve stress and help alleviate depression because the simplest touch, a hug, holding hands, sitting with somebody in physical contact releases endorphins which elevates mood.  She has opportunities for this to happen.  If I can be honest here, I don’t even remember which friend it was that posted this as it was a couple of weeks ago, but she’s young, she’s pretty, and she can find such contact if she so desires.  She has the opportunity to be with someone.  I do not.

I was told recently that I need to “put myself out there.”  It was sweet advice from a well-intentioned friend, but easier said than done.  I have no idea how to do that.  The usual socialization activities (such as drinking or sports) are not things in which I’m interested.  That makes it hard to meet people, and dating sites and services are overwhelmed with men interested in little more than sex, so for an old man like me, they just don’t cut it.

I feel bad that I’m feeling so blue.  Saturday, I even had a very surprising date from an exceptionally beautiful woman inside and out.  I met her at an event some months ago and was delighted that she was willing to spend as much time chatting with me as she did and had hoped we could develop a friendship.  She texted me a couple of days earlier to tell me that she was in my city and asked if we could have lunch.  I was (and still am) elated that she had even thought of me to reach out as she did.  We had a delightful lunch, and she is so emotionally generous that I even got a few hugs out of it.  And, no, there’s not the chance of anything developing between us, at least nothing more than friendship.  And in my world, it’s the best I can hope for.  And I have several friends who reach out to me as well. 

So for my friends, thank you.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for reaching out and staying in touch.  I do love you all, as I know you all love me as well. 

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