“Life doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?” I look to him.
He smiles. “Why do you say that?”
I think for a second. “I don’t know, it just doesn’t,” I pause, “I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I just don’t know anymore. Maybe other people’s live’s make sense, but mine doesn’t. I can’t make any sense of it.”
“It doesn’t have to make sense to have purpose.”
“I need it to make sense,” I’m quick to respond. “Or at the very least, I need it to be grounded in some sort of reality, or rationality. For my own sanity.”
“Kevin, you need to stop,” He says sternly. “This is reality. This is your reality. I’ve been watching you recently, I’ve been with you, and I think you’ve been spending too much time trying to find ways to feel sorry for yourself.”
I feel the tears well in my eyes, “That’s not fair,” I say to him. I look away, I feel a knot in my stomach and my teeth clench.
“It’s not a criticism, it’s an observation.”
“I don’t care,” I say, “it’s not fair.” I slowly rub my forehead, I close my eyes. I can feel the wet against my cheek and now the palm of my hand. I rub it with my thumb, stick it in my mouth. I can taste the salt.
“Kevin, you’re thirty-two now.”
“Oh, wow, thanks,” I say snidely. “Thanks for informing me of my age. I didn’t know.”
“What I mean is maybe instead of crying you should ask yourself what is bothering you.”
“I just told you, my life doesn’t make sense.”
“That’s a very generic grievance, I hear it a lot and to be quite frank it doesn’t hold a lot of resonance with me.”
“I don’t need it to resonate,” I feel myself getting angry. “I just thought I could tell you. I thought I could come to you when I needed to. I can do that, right?”
“You can,” he says assuringly. “And I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to get you to understand what is bothering you.”
I think about it. I wipe the tears and look to him. “I feel alone.”
“In what sense?”
“In exactly that sense, I’m not a part of anyone’s life.”
“I would argue quite the opposite,” he says. “In fact, if that’s how you feel I would say you’re quite blind.”
“I’m not blind, I know I’m loved. I know I have hundreds of people in this world that love me.”
“So then why would you say you’re not a part of anyone’s life?” He asks.
My thought trails off. I hear a car horn on the street. “You know I’m in Argentina right now?” I ask him.
“Yes, I’m right here with you.”
“Yeah, I guess.” I think for a second. “A few days ago I was in Chile. A few weeks ago Peru. You know what happens when you literally travel the world and meet hundreds of people? That’s what I do, right? With the Gay Men Project? I literally travel the world and meet hundreds of people. They invite me into their homes, and I witness their lives.”
“Yes, you should feel very fortunate.”
“I do,” I reply, “but then I leave.”
“No, that’s the point. I leave. I get a taste of their life, but I’m not a part of it. I go to New York, I see friends, and then I leave. I go home to Oregon, spend time with family, and then I leave.”
“All of those people, you’re a part of their lives.”
“In sense,” I concede, “but only a guest player. If life was a TV show, I wouldn’t be a part of an ensemble cast. I’m the feature, the cameo, that random person that makes an appearance in one or two episodes and then is never seen again. There is not a single person in this world that would base an important decision in their life on me–”
“I’m going to stop you right now, Kevin,” the sternness in his voice returns. “Like I said, you’re feeling sorry for yourself.”
“No, you are. And let me make this very clear,” he looks at me, “the life you lead is a result of the decisions you’ve made. If you feel lonely, it’s OK, you’re allowed. But don’t try and convince yourself it’s because no one wants you to be a part of their life. It’s because you have chosen to pursue a very specific path that doesn’t allow for it. For now.”
I think about it.
“If no one in this world would base an important decision in their life on you, it’s because you would prefer not to have to base important decisions in your life on anyone else. You require a certain freedom. If you had a boyfriend right now, or a partner, would you be doing the Gay Men Project? Would you be in Argentina?”
I look down and grumble. “No.”
“So what is it exactly that you want?” he asks.
“I don’t know,” I think about it. “I guess I just want to share this experience with someone. If you were to ask me two years ago what my dream was, it would be this. Right now. This moment. To travel the world and do I what I love and meet interesting people. And I made it happen. I’m living it. And I guess I just thought I’d feel a certain way, and I don’t. I guess I just imagine dreams mean a lot more when you can share it with someone you love.”
“That’s your problem, Kevin,” he says, “instead of realizing and appreciating the very real things in your life, you’re focusing on the things that you’re convinced you don’t have. Look Kevin, I believe in you. I think you can accomplish great things in life. But with that comes a certain level of sacrifice. You may be able to fool other people, but not me. I know the real thing you dream of is not to travel the world but to have that one true love, that one person to come home to every day, to have that family and a certain level of security and consistency in your life. But that time is not now, trust in me and what I have planned for you.”
I look to him.
“And know that you’re not alone,” he continues, “You’re never alone. There are literally people across this entire world that are cheering you on and want nothing but the best for you–for you to accomplish that which you are meant to do. And I am always with you.”
“Yeah, but that’s the thing,” I interrupt. “You’re with me right now and yet I’m sitting alone in an apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina.”
“That’s the point,” he says, “I don’t have to be physically with you for you to be a part of my life. I don’t have to see you on a daily basis to have you in my thoughts. You don’t need to hear me say I love you to know that I do. Kevin, just continue on the path that you are on, have faith, and I promise you all will be as it is meant to be. Can you have faith?”
I think about it. I look to him, and I slowly nod my head.
“Life doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?” I look to him.