Is human connection an illusion? Do we all just choose to believe what we want to believe about our place in this world? Is anyone truly at peace with where they are, with who they are? My peace is a fragile shell that will crumble under the slightest pressure. Inside remains the same emptiness that I have always known. The nothingness which is the final answer to all of the questions I am too afraid to burden others with, the stillness of the grave I fight to escape from each morning. Its hard not to feel lonely when solitude is more real than human interaction. But the real pain I live with is the feeling of being lonely even in a crowd, or when surrounded by those who are supposed to know me the best. It has been said that “In the end, each man must lie in the grave, alone” so why does my life itself feel like the grave. The unmet expectations of others are the tools I use to dig out my hole. The disappointment that others feel when they realize we are not alike is the stone that covers my tomb. And I am just a lost spirit, trapped down here, trying in vain to string together the proper series of syllables that will work as a password to release me, to revive me, to give me life anew in the company of others. Yet I know that if the stone was ever rolled back and I was called forward as Lazarus, the light of day would blind me and burn my pallid flesh. The paradox is this: The craving for human contact, for someone to reach down and touch me, so that I can know I am real, while at the same time a longing for the comfort I have found in the aloneness that has been my constant companion since birth. There is no center, no balance, just an overwhelming desire to dig my way out and shout into the ears of the deaf. All the while I fear, more than eternal darkness, what I will find on the other side if I were ever to break through. So I sit and watch the world above spin in circles while its denizens scurry about chasing their fantastical dreams. My dreams are not for chasing, not for the light of day, not for this world. I need them here with me, in the dark, to warm me when no one else cares to know how cold I have become.