Winter Song

Is love alive? I've never successfully had a girlfriend for the Christmas season. I choose those words in that specific order because if "have a girlfriend" is a binary 1 or 0, on/off switch then technically that isn't true, but if we're talking about the "to have and hold" aspects of it all, then it's just never happened for me. Or at least not more than once.

Which is unfortunate, because I rarely feel more like being romantic than I do around these holidays. Look at my posts this time over the years.

Is love alive?

We're at (what at least should be) the darkest, coldest time of the year. And in that time, when you're by relational status single, it's hard not to feel like that one. That single. The leftover when everything else has been paired off.

It's hard not to feel dark. And cold. A snowstorm of a person, looking for another flake that matches you all the while reciting the old mantra: no two are alike.

I don't want to be unique around Christmas. I want to be in a dark room with a brightly lit Christmas tree and a cup of hot chocolate and her. Not that I even have a clear picture in my mind of who her is.

Just a vague notion of what having a her would be at this time.

I was thinking about this as I drove to my job helping others ensure a merry Christmas for those that they love. I couldn't see why, every year, I got so into the spirit for something I still felt so left out of.

All the couples with the happy Facebook photos. All the people shopping for gifts for an other of significance. All the songs sung to lovers or for lovers or by lovers.

All that extra happiness that so many times I thought I'd found, finally.

And then this song came on, Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson singing to me above the sound of traffic.

Is love alive? Is love alive? Is love alive?

All at once, I had an answer.

The friends who live a few houses down and rarely go a day without talking to or seeing me. The married friend who still takes time to sit down and read comic books with me, just because we both enjoy them. The friend who moved across the country but still manages to be one of the only people to ever call me to have an actual conversation. The female friend who used to love me, like that love me, but since has had a million chances to leave and hasn't taken one. The family that loves me no matter how many times I'm able to see them. The work friends who keep me sane or at least as close as I'm able to get to it.

So, on this Christmas morning, as I sit at the dining room table in the dark, the only creature stirring (not even a mouse), I know the answer.

On the darkest, coldest nights of the year, I know the answer.

Even when the holidays seem like they'd better be spent with a significant other, I know the answer.

Is love alive?

In every possible way.