Loves me, loves me not

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

By Rex Alphin

He entered my office with an unconfident gait that shouts louder than any words he might have said. My guess was a beat down man, a man who questioned himself and his actions — and, perhaps by chance, it involved a member of the opposite sex. My inclination proved correct.

“I cannot understand her,” he stammered. “She keeps me in constant suspense.” They were his first words, like a dam of frustration breaking at its center, gushing downstream with a torrent of release.

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I felt for him but also sensed his relief at being able to finally unload on some stranger, some uninvolved visitor like myself, permitted to peer into his inner room, his private sanctuary so long prohibited from other participants in the human race. I listened.

“She brings me to the edge and dares me to jump, only to walk away like some non-participant, some spectator who amuses herself at the silliness of someone who would display such loyalty. Yet, she takes but a few steps away and starts the game anew. I am undone!”

I was a bit taken aback at his candor, his revelatory stance, his exposure to possible ridicule and condescension. But on the other hand, I was honored at his choosing me for his audience, and I tried to convey my sentiments through countenance alone. I peered into his animated eyes, realizing that a step into my office was in itself a major achievement.

“Does she love you?” I dared to ask.

“Ah!” he cried, “That is the question. Could I but know! To be assured of such sentiment would be rapturous delight. Unrestrained bliss! Pure ecstasy! But,” (at this his eyes diverted downward, as he paused reflectively and lowered his tone) “I have no such assurances. Thus, I continue to exist in purgatory itself. It is a thankless state in which I find myself.”

My heart became limp, as it were, for I must admit, I was acquainted with the condition in which I found my patient. “Physician, heal thyself!” rang through my membranes as I struggled with a substantive reply to his pleading corneas connected to my own.

Summing up the few years experience I had been granted with the fairer sex, I could but reply with the single answer, “Sir, she is a woman.” It was all that I could say.

Rex Alphin of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is rexalphin@aol.com.