Inner Calm

The girlfriends always say: you’re so calm, you’re my rock in the swirling stormy water.
Christ almighty . . . if only I could sleep. Where’s the inner calm when I need it, when I’m alone? Sometimes I wonder if that calm they speak of is only a façade, but the fact is, it isn’t. I’ve wondered about it often enough to know. I do feel calm when I am with a woman I love. They make me calm, like balsam on a wound.
What wound is that, that needs staunching so bad? Why is it so raw when I am alone? So raw, it makes me want to rip it open, get at the inner pain, rip it out, dammit! Where in hell’d it come from?
But when I am with a woman I love, I am at peace. I feel no need, no need for anything except her presence. That’s enough, I am satisfied. It doesn’t matter if I am lying half asleep with my head on her lap, or massaging her back – doing my best to make her feel good –, or discussing a piece of art we saw that day . . . I am at peace with the world. That is all I need.
I love art, but I almost never go to galleries or expositions without a girlfriend. I love nature, fresh air, but I hardly go out without a girlfriend. I love good food, but I never go to a restaurant without a girlfriend. I love life, but without a woman who I love and who loves me, it seems worthless. All that love inside me . . . worthless. No amount of inner calm can help me over that hump.
If only I could sleep.
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