Ode to Pain

May 22, 2008
By Olivia Wainhouse, Briarcliff Manor, NY

Human existence can be characterized by tremendous pain. Some of us run; some of us stay on the field and fight; some of us sit back, disillusioned taking the easy way out. We all cope with this inescapable pain differently, some more successful than others, some wallowing in this fit of despair, the kind of pain that makes walking down the street looking at the faces of others nearly impossible. Standing in the shower as the steaming water cascades down my numb body, I feel this pain. It encompasses my entire being, rendering me practically dysfunctional. The whole world is spinning around me, its moving parts in tandem with time, as I stand paralyzed in this pain of heart break and wonder, seemingly unable to be carried by these forces. It is unbelievable that another human being could cause such destruction to another, but it happens. It happens every day. It’s happening right now. Somewhere there is a young couple torn apart by the forces of immaturity and the barriers to love. There’s the young woman sobbing on the park bench, the widow searching for answers at a lake, the businessman gazing around helplessly around a café, the young boy looking longingly after his childhood playmate; all looking for comfort, unable to find it anywhere. Heartbreak is everywhere. It is veiled by the inner strength that we’re programmed to harbor, but it is there if you look closely. And I feel it now, more than ever. I’m surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of people, but I’m absolutely paralyzed. I turned to others, I turned to myself, and now I’m turning to words. But words are too ephemeral to help fill the hole that has been left in my heart

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