I saw you for a fleeting moment on the airplane. I fell instantly in love with you. I wondered if you had a boyfriend. You must have. A beautiful woman always has somebody for company. I briefly imagined us together. Oh, how I would love you. Do all those things you see in romantic movies: Buy you flowers for no other reason than I love you; take you for long walks along Lake Geneva; have a picnic in the park.
I think about you, and I don’t know why. It’s not rational. But love is not rational. I wonder what you are doing at this moment, and where you are. Are you happy, or sad? What are you thinking? Did you notice me? Are you thinking about me, like I am about you? Probably not. Nobody ever notices me, especially beautiful women. You are what they call “out of my league.”
You were my flight attendant to Chicago, and my unrequited love. But if I had the money I would buy another business class ticket to Zurich just so that I could watch you work on your return journey.
Martina, I never even introduced myself, and I just got your name off your name tag. You see, I am shy, and unwise in the ways of love. But I want to thank you. I want to thank you for that brief happiness you brought into my life, by just existing.
Why does life have to be so difficult? Why can’t people get along? Why do we hate, and why do we kill? Why do we hurt those we love, and allow ourselves to be hurt? Why do we seek our own happiness while denying another’s? Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side? Why are mountains so hard to climb? Why do I feel despair when I should feel joy? Why?
I see happy families taking Christmas pictures with Santa Claus at the mall…
I see happy families lighting candles at home…
I see happy moms preparing elaborate holiday meals…
I see smiling dads putting up Christmas decorations outside…
I see eager children waiting for presents…
I see the bottom of a glass of Scotch, alone in an empty house… But I’m not alone, I have loneliness, melancholy, and Cutty Sark to keep me company.
You are not alone. The Holiday Season can be difficult. Hopefully you have friends and family that love you. Even if you do not, you have yourself. Love yourself. You have potential. You have worth. If you need help… Get help… There is no shame in that. You are not alone.
If I die, I’d like to have a glass of Johnnie Walker Black with Christopher Hitchens, and a cup of tea with Carl Sagan. Zealots want virgins. I’d much prefer discussion and a good library.
I’m not a rich man. I do not have a Mercedes in my garage. I do not live in a ten bedroom mansion. I can’t afford to drink Champagne and eat foie gras for lunch. I don’t own a thousand dollar suit.
But I do not consider myself poor. I am surrounded by books ─ hundreds of them ─ hundreds of beautiful books. They are my treasures, my companions of solitude. Having books close by gives me comfort, passion, and feeling of oneness with the universe. My books make my soul feel rich. They are the fuel for my mind.
And God asked man, “What is your purpose? Why did I create you?”
Man doesn’t know. For what is a man’s purpose? To be fruitful and multiply? Why? To make more men who do not know their purpose?
To attain glory? For whom, God or man? Why would either need such a thing?
Man exists, he’s tangible. God exists, he’s intangible. You can touch Man. Can you touch God?
They say you just have to Believe. But Man believes a lot of things.
Oh, but you have to have Faith to Understand, you see? Is that Man’s purpose, perhaps, to find Faith?
How much can a man take? That seems to be the eternal question… The answer is a lot. A man is born for the nasty, short, and brutal life that lies ahead. A man is defined by the weight on his back and how he adapts to circumstances. A man can quit, he can give up, but that is the easy way. Men seem to thrive on challenging the easy way.
I find myself at the bottom of the pit of despair. I feel abandoned. Alone. But, I’m not afraid. This despair is fueling me, it drives me forward. It makes me want to claw at life, tempt fate, tempt Faith, seek Redemption.
In the End a man will be defined, measured, by how he deals with the challenges presented to him. He will be measured by his actions… His reputation… That will be his Legacy.