On a hike the other day, keeping company with my camera, I suddenly stumbled upon a couple of young humans…ahem…enjoying each other’s company quite strenuously. Blushing furiously, I turned about face and fairly sprinted back in the direction I had come to give them privacy.
I understand this process from an intellectual perspective, but I was surprised (and a bit alarmed) how much it disrupted my peaceful afternoon hike. Not that I was bothered or disgusted by their behaviour, but that I have never been a part of something similar. And, occasionally, when I lift my head up from the leaves and flowers, it worries me.
How could I have reached such a mature age without even knowing how to kiss?
This seemingly silly question is troubling because leads to other worries; for example, that I am missing out on something so fundamental to human existence. And that I have spent so many years on this Earth without ever having been loved. It leads to other questions. Like: what is wrong with me?
And it leads me to wonder if (or I should say, “decide that”) I’m not even really human.
(Such a human thing, to wonder if you are human!)
But how could anyone feel sorry for me and my condition? I know how to find happiness under every rock and in every branch, contentment in silence, and security in simple comforts. If anyone were meant (or even designed?) for solitude, it would be me.
I know how to be strong when others are not, how to comfort myself when I am despairing, even how to let myself be weak.
But now I wonder if I am too old to learn how to kiss, or whether I could ever feel safe in someone’s arms. Or whether indeed such a scenario is even near enough to possible that I should concern myself with it. I often think it quite likely that I am simply unlovable, homely and awkward as I am.
And if, periodically, I ponder why it is that young couples make love on lazy Sunday afternoons, or why, while standing in line, that one leans just ever so closely toward the other, or even why people touch each other for comfort…well, it does not change the fact that a beautiful day can move my heart like nothing else, or my excitement upon exploring someplace new, or the warmth I feel when looking at a beautiful organism.
But beings like me are not long for the gene pool, are we?