I often think of unrequited love as being the most awful thing ever, all that angst and misery,
the drowning of sorrows in chocolate ice cream, like a rather futile attempt to sweeten the
bitterness. When it comes to the human capacity for melodrama
nothing is more inspiring than, “he loves me, he loves me not.” Girls tend to sink into it more,
eating everything in the refrigerator, downing boxes of wine, sub-texting passive/ aggressive
diddies on face book. Or, for a more elegant touch, throwing all his clothes out on
the front lawn and setting them on fire.
Men are no slouches in the melodrama department either, although they tend to perceive themselves
as more dignified in their despair, as if it is not quite as pathetic to be downing shots of whiskey
and texting your alleged indifference to random strangers on the internet.
Unrequited love however, is nothing but a pin prick on the continuum of misery that marks the human
experience. The most awful thing of all is to be surrounded by a crowd of people and feel
so unbearably lonely, it is worse than being alone. That feeling of disconnection from the rest
of the human race is a bit like feeling as if you were an alien visitor that just crashed on
a planet full of stupid people. You are now doomed to spend eternity with those who cannot even
speak the language, indeed, lack the intellectual curiosity required to even desire communication.
Intelligence is a burden, it socially alienates you. Some learn how to hide their intelligence, how to
shield their eyes, how to feed people what they want to hear. Most learn at least once or twice
what it’s like to be surrounded by people and feel that painful and lonely disconnect from the rest of humanity.
I hate to sound so cynical, but social skills are quite simple, they are comprised of your ability to tell lies and
the skills required to hide your intelligence. The triple social curse is intelligence, a compulsion to speak the truth,
and an unwillingness to apologize for who you are.
Intelligence aside, most of us are familiar with loneliness. We’ve met the beast. Some of us have visited
that hellish place where you are surrounded by people and suddenly realize you are so painfully, unbearably lonely.
Sometimes when I am having big thoughts, I wonder if this is how God feels and why He created us in the first place.
Is it odd to try and empathize with God? Probably, but it’s something I’ve done for a long time and since
there is nothing new under the sun, no doubt others before me have done it much better. I try to empathize with
God, I wonder what it must be like to put up with us, to spend thousands of years watching people make the
same breathtakingly stupid mistakes over and over again. I wonder what it must be like to be the most intelligent and
powerful Being in the universe, constantly challenged by those who seem to believe they are capable and qualified
to improve on Your design. I ponder what it must be like to listen to us simultaneously curse God while pleading for
His help and trying to deny His existence.
And than I am comforted by the fact that God knows that the opposite of love is not hatred,
it’s indifference, that frozen numbness we seek at the bottom of the chocolate ice cream carton.