Where is the happiness that eludes me,
Taking with it my delights and peace,
And sending what should be my love to flee?
For a time uncountable it has ceased.
From the dying embers of a childhood past,
My joy slowly moves beyond my control
Only my sorrows appear strong and last,
Placing a heavy burden on my desolate soul.
I wander through many couples holding hands
Seeing that love is to be held – but not by me
Even on a beach I sink from sight in its sands,
Or plunge forgotten under the cold, salty sea.
Where happiness might possibly be found
Notice that never will I be there or around.
October 9, 1987
I still vividly remember writing this poem. I found the thought of writing a bleak poem intensely amusing that night, and I tried really hard to make this poem sound as tragic as possible. I kept giggling at the lines I wrote, and was highly pleased with the result. To me, this poem was ridiculous, and I loved it!
A few days later, a very sweet friend of mine asked me if I’d written any poems lately. I gave her this one to read, not really remembering the content as much as my amusement from it. She burst into tears reading it. She asked me if I was okay, and was genuinely concerned for me. I assured her I was fine, but I learned a lesson from that experience: Don’t joke with emotions.
There is truth in this poem, though. I was 16 and had never dated anyone. I felt like I never would. That thought didn’t depress me at the time, but I could imagine how it might be depressing in the future. I’m 44 now, and I still haven’t ever dated anyone. I’m not surprised by that; it’s a part of my nature, and I knew that at 16. Other people often feel sorry for me when they find out I’ve never been in love. I don’t feel sorry for myself, though I do wonder sometimes what it would feel like to be in love.
I have suffered from depression the past few years. I didn’t write much poetry during that time. Instead, I wrote a novel in which the main character kills himself, and shortly thereafter the whole Earth falls into a black hole (killing everyone, naturally). Since the story’s premise required the setting to take place in the afterlife, killing everyone off was necessary. Writing it cheered me up some, too. I think it’s best to take your frustrations out on paper rather than the real world. I wish more people felt this way.
I do think the storyline for my novel The After Wars is a good one, but the first chapter is very depressing and was hard to get through for the readers who have been kind enough to read my book for me. I’m working on rewriting it now. I may delete the first chapter entirely and just start the book with the second chapter. Editing it is difficult, mostly because I don’t have a lot of time to work on it.
I no longer find this poem amusing. If you are suffering from depression, please talk to someone, get help, and don’t try to deal with it all alone. White-knuckling it sucks. I did that for almost three years. It was horrible. I’ve come out of my depression now, though I still have the occasional bad day. Writing my novel was therapeutic, and it had the added benefit of making me feel like I’d accomplished something. Whether I ever get it published or not, I am proud that I finished my first novel.
As for romance… meh. I don’t feel like I would positively contribute to a couple situation at this time. I think I’d just make the other person unhappy. If it happens for me one day, that’s great. I’m not looking for it though, nor do I miss it. It is difficult to miss what you’ve never had. I know there is more to this life than what I’ve experienced so far. Maybe I’ll get there one of these days. In the meantime, I’m focusing on creating the life I want for myself. It’s a slow process, but a worthwhile one.