The Darkness

Every year my soul takes a vacation past the darkness. December the days grow shorter and the soul flees. I don’t know where it goes, but go it does, somewhere far from me, and it leaves me as some sort of soulless zombie-child for a few weeks, when the days are shortest. I get cranky. I get sad. I have learned that the exhaustion will fade. The new year comes, a most melancholy holiday, and soon after that the days will start to grow longer. Spring will come and then, in a burst of suddenness, there will be summer. The days will be too long and I will feel too alive, and all will be as it should be, as we are told that we are supposed to feel as humans- happy, thankful, joyful. It is hard to be a human in the winter. A summer human, that is. But it is like the world wants to deny that winter is happening. With our heaters, and our false lighting, we claim to have captured summer year round. Be happy, they demand. I refuse, and my soul goes on vacation. For a few weeks, sometimes a couple of months, the depression of the winter settles in. It is not unbearable. I can handle it, quite well, after 30 years of practice. But the people around me seem to have a hard time of it. Come on, get happy, they whine at me. I refuse.
This year has been a little different. Having a lover stretched in bed beside me has kept my spirits up, or rather, down, nailed to me, here with me. It isn’t that wee have been running around, hand in hand with a summer hunger, defying the winter. But he accepted my levels, and sunk into a lovely hibernation with me. It has been wonderful. Then, last night, he left. He is only gone for two weeks, and then we meet up again, in Bulgaria. (Oh, how I am petrified to return to Bulgaria!) But as soon as he left the darkness swept in around me. I took the metro to the bus, and waiting in the misty night I felt just how dark and cold it was. Only 7 in the evening and by the time I got home I wanted nothing more than to go to bed. Of course, I didn’t. I stayed up and worked a bit on my final projects for the semester. I thought about him taking a bus up over the mountains, down by the sea, to a place that he calls home. No, he doesn’t. He calls here, with me, home. I missed him, and my soul tugged itself away. Time for vacation, it said, and numbness settled in. Everything was settled, still.
People have this huge fear of needing others. Love yourself, they say. Be complete on your own, they demand. I am complete on my own. I am a whole person. But, honestly, I like my life better with him. I like waking up with him. I like eating with him. I like solving problems with him. I like walking home with him. I like grocery shopping with him. I like running with him. He is this constant friend, companion, love to me, always supportive and understanding and filled with secrets to discover. I love him. Need? It is a relative word, I think. I am perfectly capable of functioning without him. I can go to coffee shops and write this weekend. I can hang out with my friend next week. I can concentrate on school and clean my house. No, I do not need him, but I love having him in my life, every part, every second, every day.
I still wonder about how sudden our commitment to each other was. Really, within a month of meeting we were all-in, ready to spend the rest of our lives together. I try to remember why I used to think that commitment was such a difficult thing, why love was so hard to admit that sometimes I just ignored it altogether. I can’t. With him love is so very easy. It pours out between us. Whispered admissions of love and desire and joy. Why would we ever hide these from another? Why would we ever reject these from another? Society has built a queer prison in which it keeps love and commitment as something sacred. I unlocked the cages and threw away the keys. No more, and enough is enough. I am ready to love, and so very happy that I have found a person brave enough to love, uninhibited, with me.

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