Sadness keeps creeping up on me.  In the middle of my day at work I am confronted by a heartbreaking story in the pages of a report from a caseworker.  A child is grateful for the free secondhand shoes he received, and even more excited about the free alarm clock.  This is a child who has suffered monumental loss, and his joy in these possessions is evident from the slightly less terse than normal tones of the caseworker.


I can’t stop crying about it.  I want to buy this child shoes and alarm clocks and all of the other odds and ends I take for granted every day.


Two nights ago I wanted to watch BBC’s Pride & Prejudice; the viewing used to be an annual event, but now I can’t even seem to find the time once a year.


Tonight I am drinking wine and waiting to turn the pages of a novel that beckons to me like a worn flannel.


I want to text the guy I am seeing even though I know he is busy.


I am flipping through Facebook profiles.


I stop and think about all of these little pieces.  I feel disconnected from the people in my life.  These little actions are my way of connecting with them.  And the boy I have never met is the one I connect with the most.  I don’t need many of his story’s details; the plot is as easy to follow as a Disney cartoon.  There are highs, lows, and a happy-ish ending.


But my friends and my life, they are easiest left in the broad strokes that paint facts.  Emotions.  Those are harder.  The answers are neither wrong nor right; they just are.  They become incomprehensible facts.  They raise more questions.  The emotional details are the ones that bind you together.


I want to reach out and say something.  I hold my tongue.  If I say the words that are about to roll out of my mouth I can’t take them back.  They are said, and they will provoke a response I might not like.  They might even lead to a question I don’t want to answer.


I watch my movie and read my book instead.  Here the emotions are one-sided.  These characters don’t care how I feel.  They are there whenever I want, waiting to entertain me.  They demand nothing.


I give nothing except facts.


And then I am alone, and I’m crying over a boy I don’t know.