Lonely

by Brian

He hung his keys on the designated peg when he came through the door. A sigh escaped his lips as he relaxed his arms letting them go limp. Another date failed. I hate myself. I'm pathetic. When will She come? Will I die alone? All of these thoughts entered his mind and stayed there, lingering like creeping pnemonia as he passed through his modest, but expensive apartment. He walked back to his room, removing his coat and tie and draping them on the couch. I'll get those later, I just don't care right now, he thought.

Upon his arrival in the master bedroom, he sat in abject depression on the bed. What is wrong with me? He sat in stared at his hands. Hands are interesting, he mused. We affect the world through our hands. We build and tear down. We create and destroy. People affect us through our hands. We are given gifts of affection and love, and not all of these are physical objects. Our hands define who we are. He sat, entranced, looking at the different lines and curves that he'd seen his whole life. Now, however, he saw them in a new light. He stared at his hands, his past, and his future.

The sound of a distant police siren jarred him from his reverie. I just need to shower, he thought. I need to put this day behind me. Subconciously, he hoped to somehow try to cleanse himself from the disaster that was his date tonight. He needed to get the smell of intoxicating perfume and shallow morals off of him. Yes, he was not a beautiful man, but he was not gruesome either. He could get women if he wanted, and had done so in the past. He was getting older, day by day. The time for physical romps was over; he needed a strong relationship, a companion.

The hot shower calmed and soothed him; he found the fresh scent of soap comforting. The nightly shower was a ritual that he had come to respect of late. Not for its base hygenic value, but for it's psychological implications. At the end of every day, especially the arduous and difficult ones, nothing makes one feel better than a hot shower. The physical cleaning is good, of course, but the symbolism it holds for the subconcious is powerful. Taking a shower wipes away the negativity of the past and lets one become hopeful again for the future. He basked in the shower's warmth and consolation for a quarter of an hour before deciding to retire.

He left the bathroom sanctuary in a loose robe, and lazily walked around the rooms, straightening up. He pondered this somewhat unnecesary habit of tidiness as he picked up his coat and tie. I live here, no one comes here any more. I'm all alone, yet I have this compulsion to clean. As he hung up the tie, he thought back to the night's earlier date. His friend was kind enough to arrange the entire evening for him. A nice dinner at Flemming's. How did he swing that? he asked himself. It's impossible to get in there. His companion for the evening was an attractive, stunning actually, woman a few years younger than himself. Their conversation was polite and remained lively and interesting during the salad and the soup. The lobster bisque was excquisite, as was the evening so far. But as the dinner wound down, the talk began to shift into more personal matters. Even this wasn't so bad, he reflected. No weird relationships, fantasies, or fetishes. Just the typical clever 20-something woman.

Yet something was not right to him. There was no spark. No connection. The never ending conversation continued, the subjects shallow. As the night and courses wore on, her interesting comments turned into hackneyed phrases, her sharp wit became weak and confused. After the meal, he walked her to her car, where she threw herself at him, pleading to have one passionate night with him. Any normal man would have gladly agreed, but his damned desire for a lifelong companion got in the way of his answering in the positive. He had respectfully declined, but did ask for her number out of politeness. What was wrong with me? I should have gone with her! No, I did the right thing. I'm so alone.

Am I too picky? Is it my personality? Heaven forbid, is it my appearance? Why can't the perfect one come to me? I knew she's out there. Am I too picky? he asked himself as he had thousands of times before. The same response came back to him as it had a thousand times before that: it isn't worth having the relationship unless it's perfect.

Another day in his life gone, another opportunity erased, not likely to appear again. After he tidied up his already tidy appartment, he eased his moderately-built frame into an oversized chair and rested his feet on the ottoman and turned on some soft music to relax to. He resolved that he would do what he had always done, and for all intents and purposes, would always do: sit it out and wait for the perfect one to come along.

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