He sits in his chair and listens. There are people everywhere. They carry on their day; things to do, people to see. He just sits there. His world has stopped turning for the time being. He can’t laugh. He can’t even smile. They say it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. But he’s not even frowning. He’s just blank. A shell of the person he used to be. Like an oyster with no pearl.
His eyes glaze over. I don’t think he wants to feel this way. I’m sure he wants to be happy. But since when did we ever have a choice? Human emotions are controlled by no one. Excruciating confusion is etched on his face. Sure, he could put on a brave face and fool the world into thinking he’s got his shit together, but at the end of the day, he can’t fool himself. He’ll go home to his one bedroom flat and, submerged in loneliness, the tears will fall.
Forced happiness is exhausting. Waiting around for something you know may never happen is exhausting. Spending your days praying for emotional relief is exhausting. I get it. And I wish I could help him. I wish I could tell him that I understand. Love and happiness are the two things in this world that should be the easiest to find, yet he’s still looking.
As I watch him, I wonder what he is thinking. What is going on in his world that has stripped him of everything he once was? Everyone is fighting their own battle, but to lose the ability to laugh? What kind of war zone is this?