Posted on December 29, 2016


Ben sat listening to his friend attentively. Everything that left her lips was absorbed and analyzed to great detail. Most of it hurt to listen to. It hurt because he felt her pain, and because he loved her. Loved her romantically, and also platonically. Or was it lustfully and platonically? He wasn’t sure, but platonically was definitely one of them. It also hurt to listen to because her stories and revelations brought out his own pain and insecurities. 

You see, Ben is single, and has been for a long time. He’s only ever hooked up with a girl once, and about a handful of prostitutes. He’s the opposite of a chick magnet, hence the prostitutes. So as he sits and listens to his friend’s painful story of her relationship, he feels empty. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be in her position. And when she mentions going on the dating scene or meeting another guy at some point (not for quite a while), it stings him; like a pin in his stomach. He wishes he was good enough for her, that maybe he would be the next guy for her – but deep down he knows the truth. 

Hell, the last girl he thought he loved (and was also a friend for some time), slept with him, but removed him from her life like scraping gum from a shoe. So what’s going to happen? He believes that she’ll get through this low point and find someone else (but if she knew he thought that, she would be absolutely livid). And when that time does come for her, he’s been thinking about leaving her. Her and everyone else. Because no matter how hard he’s tried to accept his loneliness, it always comes back to eat at him. 

What’s sad is that his loneliness is real, not some figment of his imagination. He doesn’t have tons of friends and women vying for his attention. He has a few good friends, which is more valuable than anything, but those friendships don’t make up for that need for companionship. That need for someone to know you intimately and still accept you. And not just accept you, but want you. At least for a time. It’s something most people might take for granted, yet he hasn’t the slightest idea of what it’s like to experience it. No one’s ever really wanted him that way, and he’s pretty sure no one ever will. It makes him feel like he’s not human. 

And if he’s not human, what’s he doing here? 

Posted in: Essays, Memoirs, Stories