The girl with short hair leans her head on her husband’s shoulder. They are a married couple in their early thirties, probably around my age. When standing up, her height only reaches somewhere around her husband’s upper arm. I see his one arm so easily wrapped around his small wife’s shoulder. The girl is cocooned in his embrace. It looks so sweet. I have a soft smile on my face. But I don’t know why my eyes are getting teary.
The Saturday evening Mass is going on quietly, in the big church they have remodeled. It looks quite modern, a bit too modern for my taste. I prefer the early morning service in the historic chapel on Sundays. But I got scheduled to work for the next two Sundays against my wish and that is why I had to come to the Saturday Mass. I am sure there were many that came alone like myself. But I don’t know why I am only seeing the families and married couples on this day.
Just the day before, I have told my manager that I won’t be open to work on the weekends. I gave her the excuse of my business that I am planning to start next month, but what prompted me to suggest my leave due to the schedule conflict, was really, because of the Sundays that I am being scheduled to work. If leaving the job is what it takes to have my Sundays opened for the Mass, then leaving is what I will do. However, my manager is willing to keep me and work around my schedule. Again, my way of dealing with issues by taking extreme measures against them proves to be effective. In June, I won’t have to come to the Saturday Mass. In June, I will be able to go back to the quiet Sunday Mass. I won’t be sitting alone in the crowd of happy families. I won’t have to wish for what I do not have because a couple deeply in love are getting snuggly in the seat right in front of me. In June, I will be too busy to be shaken by a trigger that makes me wish for a life companion. In June, perhaps, I will finally have my life companion. In June, I will be courting my art business.
I recently received an email from Sr. Barbara. Have you been able to connect with any others your age in the parish? She asked. And I did not have a heart to send her a reply yet. I know I can’t lie to her. But I don’t want to tell her that I have not been able to connect with anyone around my age, either. I am almost embarrassed. There is no one around my age at 7 am Mass in my parish. I know I can join a regular meet-up group intended for single adults. But I am too much of a loner.
Once in a while, my feminine side comes out. The woman that I am deep down comes out, and speaks really loud. She says:
“I want that, too. I want to lean my head on a strong man’s broad shoulder. I want to be embraced. I want to lay down my heart in his protective love.”
“Protective, not captive, love. But I have stopped searching long ago when I met God. So you might as well stop this complaining. God’s divine love is all I seek for.”
“But you know you want that embrace, too. You want that loving human relationship. I know you do. Why are your eyes getting watery then?”
“Because I used to lay my head on my ex’s shoulder, too. Because I miss what I used to have. Because I don’t have it right now. I am only reminiscing. Sometimes you cry when you reminisce and it is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good release.”
And so, the whole conversation goes on and on, and I leave the Mass a little confused than I was before I came. This is why I prefer the Sunday Mass. There, I chat with my best friend in the parish who is 60 years old. Her much younger husband is always away serving in the army, and she has a sister who has bipolar that has been lost for the last two years. So you can see how we were able to connect on the first day we met.
How do I tell Sister Barbara that the person around my age I have been able to connect with is myself, the very self that disagrees with me on so many levels? How do I tell her that, as a matter of fact, I am trying to find a way to make her go away, out of my life, out of my mind, so that I can forget about my inner desires and only focus on Godly things? And if I meet someone around my age outside myself, what would I do with her or him? My most active hours are 4 AM to 11AM, and once my biological clock hits noon, I am like a socially impaired woman with some exaggeration. Who would hang out with me? I would be happy to go to a coffee shop for a lively morning chat at 4 in the morning. Anyone??
I don’t have a man in my life, but some nights, I fall asleep hearing the faceless voice. He is the voice that chants the Rosary prayer at 9 PM on my favorite Catholic radio station. I play the station on my iphone at 9 pm if I am awake, and prepare for my beauty sleep. It is my favorite time of the day. My mind goes away leaving room for me to think some nice thoughts. I think:
I have a pillow to lay my head on. I have a roof to protect me from rain. I have a soft bed to lie on. I hear my peaceful breathing, my chest rising up and down very softly. I feel like a little child falling asleep on the lap of my Jesus.
To Jesus, I give my entire being. My body and soul dwell in him. Only Jesus, do I desire, and it is his embrace I seek. Maybe he will love me in different ways. Perhaps he will send me a companion with whom I can share the love he sends me. But for now, he loves me through the rosary. He loves me through his bread and wine at the communion. He loves me through my family. He loves me through my job. He loves me through the stuffed pink lamb on my bed. He loves me through those who are much older than me. Maybe tomorrow, he will send me someone around my age that He desires me to connect with.
Maybe soon I will write an email back to Sister Barbara with some happy news. But for now, I am happy to listen to the Catholic radio and pray the rosary at 9 PM on my bed. I blissfully fall asleep alone drenched in the Divine Love Jesus has for me, and I for Him. This is my romance, the ultimate romance I can ever ask for.