The Heart of a Man: A Very Lonely Place

Oh the sorrowBy Delbert H. Rhodes


He spent the entire day suffering the loss of his love. Though he aches for her terribly, she would never return to his arms. Never. Tonight his home feels cold and lonely. Before now, such feelings never existed. Sitting alone at the table, and for the first time in years, he must eat his meal without her. Staring across at the empty chair, he feels her presence. Dropping the fork into his plate, the man sighs deeply.

The food is without taste. This is quite unusual, but since her departure, everything seems unusual. His plate nearly filled, is pushed away. He (just) does not seem to feel hunger for food; the hunger he feels is for her. The meal is left sitting on the table; sharing his circumstance, it too he discards. Preoccupation with her ravages his soul. How could she have abandoned him, and why? Why! Answers to these questions escape him. In time perhaps, “Thorn” would make sense of it all.

Theodore Andres Thorndyke is a quiet man and a huge pain whenever brought to anger. Those whom know him say: the man is a thorn in the side during a fight, and not easily removed.

A powerfully built man, Thorn handles anyone daring to face him. Yet, here he sits fighting back the tears. This fight is unchallengeable: a fight too great for his fists, a fight in which size and might mean nothing. A fight if engaged, Thorn knows he would lose. Helping himself from the table, Thorn prepares to face an even greater foe. Shoulders drooped, and staring at the floor, the beaten man approaches his bedroom. Moreover, the desolate room seems to wait like a predator. Standing in the doorway, and staring inside, Thorn summons the courage to enter.

Rigidly, easing into bed tonight it feels strange. Alone and lonely, beneath the covers he searches for comfort, but none could be found. Thorn presses his body against the mattress, but without her, tears seem to squeeze from the fabric. Suffering to find a soft spot on his pillow, and surrendering to the distraction of sleep, somehow, the weary man closes his eyes.

Falling into a tormented dream, from the womb of Thorn’s pain emerges a heart-rending letter. Like a newborn child searching for its mother, the following words cry out to him.

Hi. How are you?

Twenty years have passed, since I have written a letter. To write such a letter seems strange. The need, however, overcomes me. Many miles separate us. Perhaps, now, your preferences have been acquired. I hope that more happiness is yours. You deserve it.

Time passes quickly and before one realizes, tomorrow’s eyes are deep and shadowy. Amazing is it not: that yesterday’s realities are less clear than tomorrow’s uncertainties. Where did it all go? To say how much you are missed, words are insufficient. Although such words cause much embarrassment, still I write them. You see: the expressions symbolize my emotions my feelings my truths.

Can a person fully and completely express how he feels? The aid of an Egyptian Scribe might be helpful. For, he could properly document and demonstrate what you mean, and have meant to me. Furthermore, if words serve little purpose, a cup of my life’s blood might suffice.

In the short time on this planet, my acquaintance to people has been diverse. The benefits of their great wisdom have been mine to share. A vault filled with the vast differences of life, has been at my disposal. From the mines of the motherland comes forth an even greater worth. You. My sweetheart, I miss you. In their search, these words are as sky borne missiles, seeking the illusive target. I fear this target is never to be found. Perhaps it is so and understandable. Honesty clarity and truth, however, are important, and at all costs.

Yes, at times the price is high. In addition, though facing embarrassment and humiliation, responsibility to integrity is critical. Then so be it! If I must dance to the music, then to the floor I rush. Though it may be a long walk back, the walk is mine to take. To feel for someone as I feel for you, I have waited a long time. At first sight, I chose you to bear my child. Thus my comment to you: when we were there, and on that wonderful spring day. Then, as it does now, for you, love lived inside me. I miss you.

To consider these feelings as mere persuasion, male strategy and tactic would be a misfortune. For, these feelings are personal and private. They are indicators of my respect honor and commitment.

Once, you asked why I failed fully to accept you, when you were here. Do latitudes of time and decision deny women? Must men be denied? The decision making process harnesses mental conflict. No one is arbiter of how and when it prevails. The significance of time is comprehensively delicate.

Time, my dear, was requested of you, but denied me. Subsequent to a passionate farewell, we departed. This, you requested, and surely you recall.

My feelings would have been expressed had you stayed. The wedge you placed between us caused confusion. Questions posed remained unanswered. Then for constantly asking, I became the problem. Following our talk in November, a positive feeling emerged. As witnessed, proper attitudes can generate without conflict.

Whenever problems exist, such as other involvements, discussion and decision is helpful. Problems with family were the reasons you gave for leaving. Well, although strange, I must accept your methods without question. Reciprocation, however, is a consideration that all adults must learn and share. During the February conversation, I believed that you loved me. Was I mistaken? Was it a game, and why? Have you revised your thinking? Surely, our fate won’t be determined by distance.

Although difficult, I must express my thoughts. Mere coincidence never explains why people meet. Indeed a plan exists. Should it be different for you and me? I do love you, and with all my heart. I remember the night in your bedroom; you said you loved me. My reply was non-committal, and this insulted and hurt you. This fact I realized later.

Because of ‘his’ hurt, “that man” was cautious. Those wounds were fresh and unhealed. That man suffered a misfortunate and destructive marriage. A marriage that was wrong from its inception. To commit, that man needed “more time.” Marriage, you implied, was a consideration for ‘your’ future. For me, marriage was out of the question. Therefore, and naturally, I reacted defensively. My reaction hurt you, and although I attempted to repair the damage, you scorned my attempts.

Fantastic visions of us were deeply seated within your mind. The intensity of your feelings blinded you to the plight of my own. Mine were Herculean Pillars, blockades to a fruitful relationship. To be man is to be imperfect. To be human is to be forever fallible. Therefore, call me the court jester summoning the laughter of royalty. Like the clown I am laughing, but crying for smiles of someone special someone closer. I love and need you in my life. In your absence, you are as much a part of me, as the first day our hearts met.

Honey, please know this is not a game. The newness of your life is attractive, and this I realize. The need to share my feelings with you, however, implores me. Yes, I desire your response to be left without it I would not be surprised. Furthermore, should my attempts to reunite fail my feelings will remain intact. Since I last heard from you, the moon has set and sailed many times. If this temperament continues, then such is the way of life. Life is yours to live, and life cannot be questioned. My life, however, would increase in worth with your presence. If I am to be without you, then I am left with envy of your future relationships.

For loving one another: God bless your parents. Because of their love, I have met you. To no other woman have I said these words. In addition, it is with clarity of thought that I speak. “Yours is the womb from which my child must come.” My admiration, love, and trust I present in sincerity. I offer to you all my possessions… all that I am. Moreover, my greatest possession is my life. Would it be enough?

I am but a man, and no stranger to responsibility. Responsibility, it must be understood, is twofold, and equally shared. Rejection, on the other hand, although an undesirable, is also an acquaintance. Therefore, self-destruction is never contemplated. Yes, no matter how arduous, life continues, and with measures of preoccupation. As stated above, however, your life is, of course, yours. Hence, if we were banished as shared memories, then until life mourns the living, yours I would cherish. For you there is a place in my heart. (Nevertheless) the heart of a man can be a (very) lonely place. Je Taime. 4/4/’92.

After a night of tossing and turning, Thorn stares into his wet lumpy pillow. Salty beads of perspiration bathe his brow, peppering his damp bloodshot eyes. Robotically, Thorn turns to her side of the bed, but beside him lies emptiness. The sheets imprint her in silhouette. Though he knows she is not there (still) he feels her, he hears her breathing. Thorn wants to touch her, but his fingers curl away. Hurting, he reaches into his mind, but her memories have forgotten him. Sadly, the man strokes his pain.

A new day calls to him. A long night echoes his name. 

Copyright ©2002 Delbert H. Rhodes

7 thoughts on “The Heart of a Man: A Very Lonely Place

  1. You are welcome. I met your mother many years ago and she is a lovely woman. I will continue to read your writings. Wish you all the best.


    1. Hello dee. I am pleased that you have taken the time to course my thoughts and feelings. The story evolved from actual occurrence; she was real; she was lovely; I adored her. Fortunately, and over the years, I have learned to face accept and talk about my feelings. This credit must be given to a few (extra) special women along the way; the greatest credit is to my Mother.

      Feelings/passions are important to me, dee.

      I hope that you would continue to stop by for a look-see. Your comments/criticisms afford me constructive insights. These help me to improve my writing.

      dee, thank you, and be well.


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