"What might possess someone to be so anti-social?" one might ask.
"I have my reasons," I answer.
"Aren't you just finding culturally enforced virtue behind working yourself too hard?" another might chime in.
"I very well might be. But I would bet that it's more about my purpose in life." (As you can imagine, I often get strange looks from people.)
"A greater purpose than love? Than children? Explain yourself!" a surprisingly incredulous and convenient imaginary character calls out.
"Well...yes," I say, clearing my throat and turning to face the wall, in order to begin my oratory. "I don't claim to have all of the answers. I don't even claim to have five percent of one percent of the answers. But there are a few things that I know to be true. The truest of all of them is that this pain, this ache in my chest, this song that sings to me each waking hour and during each vivid dream, this thing that compels me ever forward into my imagination? It matters. I know that it makes me sound crazy and likely more than a little full of myself. I can't even tell you why it matters, because I don't know why. I just know that it does. And just as I know that it matters, I know that I have to, without regard for the consequences, push past my fears, my ignorance, my procrastination, illness, sorrow, distraction, and all other obstacles to make it real within our world.
To others, my life's work might just culminate in a story or a piece of music that they hear once. If my heart has been true and I have courageously borne the work, it might even make them pay attention. But, it might not. It might vanish into the background while they play on their phone or text their sweetheart to set up a lobster bisque bath or something...but the work will exist! It will be in the world and will be there for when the right person comes along, if they ever do.
Each day, I fight the Mundane tooth and nail to create. The battle leaves me exhilarated and exhausted. In victory (more often than not), I crawl off of the battle field and fall into a deep sleep. When I wake, the battle begins anew and will do so until I die. It is my purpose and it is my deep honor to do this work.
So, you can see, that while I do adore romance and I do find women charming, intelligent, caring, and very much attractive - they do take a somewhat distant, yet absolutely amazing second place to the revelations of the spirit and the heart that are revealed to me when I create? Do you see?"
Turning back around to face my imaginary accusers, I find the room empty.
Oh well. (Looks you dead in the eye and raises a glass of whatever you're having.)
"Here's to love, which makes us and makes fools of us."
Happy Valentine's Day.