I am not present in any of the photos in the magazine. There is no hint of me in the doe eyes or the protruding collar bones. I am not in the ads on the television or even in the junk mail. I am nowhere in the upmarket fruit shop down the road, and the cafes are empty of me. I am not in the eyes of my love who describes me and the reflection bares so little resemblance to the person I inhabit. There is the potential reflection of me in our conversation, but maybe not. It is easy to pretend at such a distance.
Unique perhaps, but lonely. Always lonely. So I know what it is like, the hollow loss of something that you have never had, that sense that one good thing could right so many faults that we find in ourselves.
A letter of rejection sends seismic waves that crack what may have seemed like strong foundations. All this is reparable. In time that one good thing will come to shore us up. Even the ravages of so much disappointment will be hidden by the greatness of this final success. But sometimes, when we are tired, or down or lonely, as we always will be lonely, we will wander down into the place of hurt and touch the fissures and remember the pain and the rejections and the insecurities that still scar us and this, my friend is the place where you and I find the strength in our work. Our writing sings with the kind of real hurt that just can't be magicked out of thin air.
So now I feel what you feel and it is not in the faces of the people in the magazines or on the television. It is not in the perfect bodies of the folk at Cirque or La Choquette. It is in you and it is in me and I look at you and I see a reflection of myself and perhaps it makes me less lonely. And I hope that you will feel less lonely too.