Thursday, September 04, 2008

Salt and Pepper

Nobody ever puts just pepper on the table.

Whether you are enjoying roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding in Nana's kitchen, or Panko-crusted scallops at the best restaurant in town, you will always find salt right beside pepper.

On white tablecloths, picnic tables and Formica counter tops, those white, crystallized grains will always be complimented by their black, zesty counterpart.

As surly and unforgiving as she can be, even Salt has a match.

The fact that salt and pepper have each other reminds me that surely I can find a match of my own in the sea of humanity. As painful as the heartache of solitude may be from time to time, I know this rough patch (One year? Three years? 15 years?) is just a means to an end.

Right?

Though their union is about as old as the sands of time, Salt and Pepper aren't the only examples of steadfast commitment.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
Bob and Elizabeth Dole
Sting and Trudy

There are lots of people out there who somehow manage to find someone who compliments their personal mission. Al and Tipper Gore share a love of family and the Volunteer State. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie love improving humanity around the globe and picking up souvenirs kids along the way.

And yet for all the successful matches out there, I'm reminded there are lots of people who don't find the perfect fit for their heart. Like a bunch of square pegs trying to fit in round holes, they're left without an embrace that feels like home.

Billy Bob Thornton
Courtney Love
Katharine Hepburn
Marilyn Manson
Diane Keaton
Jennifer Aniston
George Clooney

Okay, so some of those folks are freaks and likely dealing with a few missing marbles, but every single soul on that list has failed to find the the hand they'll hold for eternity. For this sorry lot, relationships have come and gone, making for empty sides of the bed and sans +1.

Do I add my name to the list?

For me, loneliness is a sea I try to keep at bay.

I build up walls and busy-ness and perfectly practiced smiles to try and hide the hurt.

But inside, my heart beats every beat alone. The echos of an empty room ring deep within my ears. The arms have forgotten what an embrace feels like. The tears well up in my eyes until I cannot hold back any longer, the wet reminder of pain streaming down my cheeks.

And then I taste the salt.

And I try to cling to the belief that even she has a better half.

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