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Singularly Special?

"Have you ever wondered what the quiet singletons are thinking? No? Don't read this, then!"
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This musing only available on Stories Space. If you are reading it elsewhere, it has been stolen.

They say that there is someone for everyone. If that's the case, then somewhere out there, in that big, wide world, there is a fat, grumpy, depressed, cookie-eating, diet coke-swilling bloke who's pushing forty, whilst wearing stripy socks, glittery shoes, and insisting on throwing bits of gingerbread men out into the sea "for Neptune" when he goes fishing.

But then, they also say that opposites attract. So, somewhere out there, in that big, wide world, there is a skinny, cheery, manic, carrot-eating, water-swilling bloke who's pulling forty, whilst wearing plain socks, sensible shoes, and insisting on gathering up breadcrumbs from the land to "annoy Aether" when he doesn't go fishing.

Frankly, they both sound like complete nightmares.

When faced with loneliness, what do we do? Some of us go out on the town to pull a fella and have a snog or a night of illicit, stranger sex. Some of us call our girly mates and gossip, bitch and whine about how we're so much better, prettier and sexier than so-and-so-the-complete-munter. Some of us are glad for the freedom of not having to think about somebody else, and do whatever the hell we want.

And me? I live in fear that I am the lonely, fat, ugly one who moans all the time about being lonely, fat, and ugly. We all have those mates, don't we? I always want to tell them to shut up moaning, and they might find a fella. They can never see the fun parts of being single.

For instance, I don't have to "discuss" where we're going and what we're doing, and which set of parents we have to please next. I can choose where I want to eat, what, how much and when. I can take a book to the coffee shop and read it without having to make conversation. I don't have to fight over the fact that I want to pay the bill. I don't have to fight over the fact that I can't pay the bill. I don't have to tell a friend I haven't seen for ages that I still can't see them because it's "date night". I don't have to calmly and rationally discuss something trivial that happened to really upset me for no reason. I can be grumpy just because I'm grumpy, not because I'm On The Blobb.

I can have my freedom, and make my own decisions based on my own needs and desires.

But on the flip side, I can't think of little things to do for somebody I love that only he will know about. I can't find and hide random presents in places he will discover them when he is feeling low. I can't sacrifice my hatred of cooking and make him a special favourite meal. I can't compromise on something I want to do that he would rather not, just because I know it will make his day. I can't make him feel like he is loved and a wonderful gift, for whom I am grateful. I can't be head-over-heels in love with nobody.

And on the selfish side, I cannot help but wonder what is wrong with me.

You don't need to know my fleeting, disastrous, short encounters with men. You probably want to, now. But tough. I am sure we all have something that hurts terribly that we either don't want to share because it makes us look and feel foolish, or that we do want to share so that our foolishness and pain can be acknowledged, and somehow justified with platitudes and there-theres.

But what is it about being single that hurts so much, even for those of us who embrace the single life? I could waffle on for hours about situations, and regale you with anecdotes about myself, a friend, a friend of a friend, or a "friend". But why on earth am I musing about things that everybody muses about? I mean, some people never shut up about it, and some people muse about it extra-lengthily, and then sell it for a fortune (if you're wondering, I'm not going to do that, because I can't be bothered to create chapters and flesh them out with repetitive crap).

Shall we get down to the nitty-gritty?

Being single is crap because you are not precious to anybody. Being single leaves you with time to feel and prod the aching void inside. Even the most professional singles cannot deny it. Alright, they can deny it, but those who profess to be happier that way are often that way because they are afraid to let anybody in. Because to let somebody in is to be exposed, vulnerable, and in danger of emotional death.

For many of us, it is better to shut down than to open up and have somebody else cause or prod the pain. Because that's what loneliness is. Deep, empty, ugly, fetid, rotting pain. Like somebody took the fabric of the air and tore a deep rent in it, exposing a vast cavern of pure nothing, with walls of black slime that drips through the thick, oily air and coats the bottomless pit all the way down to the ceiling again. It's not even coming full circle but soaking through itself and of itself with vast horror and roiling darkness.

The brave open themselves to visitors. They open their heart, and let somebody special in. And what happens? That person brings in a light, shines it around, and then they decide if they want to stay. Or not.

Do you have idea how humiliating it is to have that inner space sneered at? I'm guessing you do.

Most people have had at least one relationship, where they spent some time with somebody who made them feel special. And when that person chooses to leave, they tear off the slime that coats the walls, leaving them raw, bleeding and oozing even more. Scalding, evil heat flays your inner being until the emotional pain is overwhelming and becomes physical.

You will never be whole again.

Take a breath. We all know it's true. But it's a kick in the teeth every time we remember, is it not? Or am I alone in this? Let us look at surface dwellers...

I get sick of the people who splay their relationships over social networking sites. I don't need to see that soppy, lovey-dovey crap! These people keep bouncing their emotions around, always crashing in emotions, but never truly getting to the deep, whole truth of who they are, what they want, and most importantly, what they need.

"You complete me." That's what they say, isn't it? The first time I read it, I grudgingly thought it was beautiful. The second time I read it, I thought it was boring. Every time after that, I have thought it blasé. As if the people writing it don't truly comprehend it. Because, you see, I know the people writing it.

They lurch from one relationship to another. They throw themselves in head-first, diving into a sea of slushy, desperate, fluffy love, as if they will never get another chance to do it again. But they will. And with each relationship that they plaster across the newsfeed walls, they declare undying love, unswerving loyalty, and you-complete-me-ness.

This lasts for a few weeks, or a few months at best. Then their statuses read as if they are moaning, whining, self-pitying, bitter fools who threw themselves in too deep, too fast, and have been made unwhole again.

Because, you see, that's what they are. Time and time again, they fail to dissect and understand their intricate hurts, and truly share the burden of their partner's. They can be completed and made whole because it is only surface emotion that is being momentarily patched up. They cannot make their love grow, flourish and last, because they do not know what each other truly needs. They are so caught up in their own feelings that they cannot recognise the balance of stamina and compromise, working things through, and mutually sacrificing for the benefit of each other. They do not know how to truly love.

Aren't we all those sorts of people? I don't believe so. Some of us can recognise the need for mutual give-and-take, but the lonely, single people like me hide away, for fear that either people will see our pain, and laugh, or roll their eyes in disgust. Some of us hide away because if we don't acknowledge it, nobody else can, either. Or at least, we don't have to see them seeing it. The few times we expose the inner ugliness results in almost instant rejection. Who wants to advertise that?

I am, believe it or not, a very private person. I can write things. As a friend often says, "We're writers. It's what we do." I can lick your heart with a probing tongue and stick it on a website like a first class stamp, and your life is under my fingers as I tap away on the keys. Do you not feel it? Do you not read my words and think, I know what she's going on about?

If the answer is no, why on earth are you even reading this? Go away and eat a gingerbread man. If the answer is yes, it is because we both suffer from the same condition: we are human. And we have pain. In which, you shopuld also eat a gingerbread man. They help.

Pain comes in various forms, for various reasons, and in various ways. The pain of singledom cannot be explained to somebody who cannot remember the last time they were single. But it is a real, growing, growling pain, a bad curry creating havoc in the bowels of your soul. It is a force to be reckoned with. Or avoided and hidden away.

But why have I chosen to lay out our pain on this screen? Because I want to know that I am not alone in this, that I am not talking to myself whilst you're all off eating gingerbread men and posting your completeness on yourlover's wall. I want to know if any of you can be as honest as me, or if I am just a freak of nature.

To be single, however we got there, means that nobody sees us as the most precious being in their life.They cannot even see that potential in us.

I have worried all my life that I was "special". You know what I mean. The special kid that everybody has to be nice to. The one who is not as bright as the other kids, and sits there picking their nose when it's no longer cool to be seen picking your nose, fiddling with the teacher's ear for comfort and habit, because the teacher is too kind to tell them to stop. The kid is different, but has to be treated as if they are normal, and nobody is cruel enough or kind enough to tell them that they're different. They just suffer them to be there, because what else can be done?

Our family and friends tell us that they love us, that we are pretty, or handsome, or wonderful, or special, or whatever the hell we need to hear, when we need to hear it. That's their job. They have to do that. And when we bemoan the fact that we are single and that nobody loves us, they offer the only words of comfort that they can to the special kid who cannot know that they are special (and unattractive, unloveable, and... well, us).

I don't doubt that some of those kind souls really mean it. But is it true? Single people will never know if they are truly the special kid. But we will always wonder. Well, if you didn't, I am sure you will now. Gingerbread me know I do!

To be loved by that (horribly-phrased) Special Someone is a joy that I cannot know. Or at least, have not known. Instead, my companion is that gnawing, yawning pain inside, and I wonder, who has the guts to be honest about it? I do. I am sharing it now, because if I don't, I fear that I never shall. And the truth must be told if we care to at least attempt cleaning ancient lies from our souls.

I do not want to be a coward. I am single, and I am not proud of it. But neither am I wishing to be what I call a Lame Duck, lurching from high to low emotions like a manic depressive on speed, with the attitude-heavy attention-seeking skills of the X-Factor failed auditionees. I want to be brave, sexy and adventurous. I want to be able to hold my writing head high, and say that I love being single, and I hate not being precious to a man who loves to be with me for my sparkling wit, enormous boobies, and tenacious spirit, and in spite of my penchant for smiling cookies, depression, and numerous health problems.

I am not asking for the pain to go away, or to be made whole. I am asking if it is so very wrong to wish to be loved in spite of it.

But there are some questions that I fear we shall never know the answer to. And worse, there are some questions that we might learn the answer to.

Look at yourself, inside and out, and ask, do you deserve to be loved?

Without wishing to be rude, I am just simply wondering, does it matter that you do not deserve to be loved? Because my heart hangs in the balance of your answer.

And so does yours.

This musing only available on Stories Space. If you are reading it elsewhere, it has been stolen.

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