A life spent staring into space. A life in which the imagined is, much of the time, more real than the real. What writing asks. What it costs.

I am not the most social of human beings. Never have been. I don’t seem shy…I am…although, at times, I have learned not to mind. Whether the writing came about as the result of my emotional pathology or the other way around, I will probably never know. I will probably never care. But it doesn’t stop me from wondering about this writer’s life, sometimes.

Man-woman relationships come easily, come readily, to some people. For others, those relationships are difficult; impossible. For yet others, they never seem to happen at all.

For me, finding The One—that strange confluence of luck and intention—has not happened. Opportunities have not offered themselves. After a while spent in the silence of self, one wonders what door one must open in the universe to let others in. One wonders why we don’t entirely mind.

Part of the trick is isolation. Truth is, I’m not likely to stumble over the perfect relationship out here in the country; odds probably won’t get any better on a once-weekly trip to town. Part of it may be an invisible and unintended curtain I’ve raised around me. Part of it is certainly my completely unrealistic belief in love itself.

We hope for the impossible love. The magnificent love. The giving, open, emotionally generous love with no downside. The love that is given as unreservedly as it is accepted. The love that lasts. The love that probably does not exist, except in the heart. Which is why I have written mine.

I have written a wonderful man. He is based on a real person—a man I do not know. The not-knowing makes him a fiction, the expression of a dream; I don’t pretend that my knowledge is otherwise. And I adore him without reservation.

And in this act is another danger. Perfection is a tough act to follow. Finding an accepting, open-eyed, fully aware love is a rarity in life. Recreating even a fraction of that sweet fiction in a flesh-and-blood being? May as well wait for the sun to rise on the other side of the planet…it could happen, it probably won’t.

This love will not be warm at my back. He will not meet my eyes in the morning. He will not touch my hand. He won’t comfort me or be comforted. He will not cook me a surprising meal. We will never make love.

I have experienced the reach and height of what love can be. And, even knowing all that, I’ve been lucky enough to have a love like this in my life. Even if I’ll never be able to touch him. Sometimes, knowing is enough. Sometimes, it’s got to be.