The way the cookie crumbles?

The cookie I’d chosen for my coffee is beyond dry and the flavourless crumbles left an uncomfortable drought in my mouth that made it hard to speak.

I was having coffee with a man I’d met at the gym. He is much older than he seems, well beyond the age of my father, but his travel experience and thoughtful personality make him an interesting character for a chat.

Despite our age difference, there are many similarities in the way we view the world. He said that I “triggered” him with my individuality and mobility. It is a familiar pattern in his own life that kept him from settling down, never grounding himself in the life he lived, simply living for the next situation. His current relationship is to a woman closer to my age than his, that he no longer feels attracted to, claiming an emotional or spiritual connection is missing.

It is a not quite sad conversation yet dark in its implications. Sitting there, I wondered what he was saying, words always containing more than their letters. But I guess it matters very little, as what is said is not nearly as important as what is being heard and the conversation offered me insights into myself that I had not considered in this format.

This man, who moved around so much in life, distancing himself from his relationships due to the desperate need to be somewhere, looking in all the wrong places to find a connection to another person. Sitting there I wondered how real this problem actually is. Is this lack of connection to another person an actual thing? Can we ever claim to be connected to anyone else, or is this idea in fact an illusion? Having experienced the same thing over and over in my life, I look at this man twice my age still suffering the same problem that he struggled with in his youth. The realisation adds a sense of dread in my own life. Is this the fate that awaits me? To in 30 years time, drink coffee with some youngling telling him/her that I don’t feel connected to those closest to me?

After a year like this, the conversation adds a touch of sorrow to my soul. The fear that these kinds of connections are not only rare but perhaps nothing more than an illusion lingers like the dry crumbles in my mouth. While my coffee companion is an interesting fellow that lived an exciting life, I am not interested in reliving his experience. In 30 years time, I want to have lived an answer to this question.

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