Loneliness, Cold Woman, you are never satisfied.

Our wedding was only seven days ago.  Already you’re so needy.

I chose YOU, remember?  We’re together now.

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

I’ll never forget that day.

How I lifted the veil.

How I searched your watery eyes.

How you nodded yes, yes, please.

We sealed our union with a tearful kiss.

And that was that.

I felt something strange in my stomach and hollow in my heart.

I left under your dark spell.  With a bitter metallic taste in my mouth.

Locked out.  Hand in your keys, please.  That’s what she said.

Locked arm-in-arm, you and I exited the sweet sanctuary of Heritage Point.  The recessional tune came in an eerie minor key.

Down the empty aisle and into the empty street.  The empty me.

Nobody waved goodbye.

An icy rain for rice.

Away we went.  Into the adventurous unknown.  The start of our new life together with nothing and no one.  Just us.


Loneliness, dear, we argued for thirteen hundred miles.  Not a good start.  You were sharp and biting the whole way.  I wanted to turn around.  I needed an annulment.  But we had already reached the point of no return.

That first night, when you removed your makeup, I was startled by the real you.

You reached for me.  Hungry.  Devouring.

I turned out the lights.  I turned them back on.  It was too dark.

Eager to have me all too yourself, you wouldn’t let me sleep.  You haven’t ever since.

Now look at me.  I’m about to crack.

You’re so self-centered.  It’s all about you.  You’re a black hole, a greedy deep throat, gobbling and swallowing my light.

I must confess.

Last night I broke two vows: I drank myself to sleep, and I reached for another woman in my mind.  The one I love.  The one I lost.

I flew toward what I had hoped would be her wide-open arms, but they were folded tight, unwelcoming, unforgiving.  And the closer I came the farther she moved, near enough to entice but just beyond my reach.

I didn’t give up.  I won’t.  Until—well —


I screamed her precious name over and over.  My arms and legs flailed in the bed, like a man drowning in the fathomless black waters of depression.  I called out to her in a troubled, drunken sleep.

My voice was muffled and ineffectual within the soundproof nightmare.

Of course, you heard—so must’ve everyone.  The only one whose ears were deafened to my cry was my true bride, my lady, the one who no longer waits.

So, Cold Woman, what did you do about it?  You broke us up again.  Even in my dreams.

Now I’m a broken man.

More profound than a temporary broken heart is the permanently broken soul.  There’s that spirit-draining sound of disintegration, the hum and ring of tinnitus, followed by a silent fall into non-existence.  The descent into madness.

You know.

You knew.

She almost took my hand, but you frightened her away.  Only a dream moments ago.  Hours, days, months, years—the best years of my life—in mere REM seconds.  Gone.

All I know is that your sad reality is my hell’s eternity.


Right now.

Even now.

Your frigid fingers tighten around my throat.  Your shivery sweat soaks the sheets of my bed.  Your arctic thoughts hammer inside of my head with a fatal subzero force.

I’d rather be dead.  And, for the first time, I really think about it.

Until death do us part…

Without mercy, you’ve shaken me alive again with a dawning awareness and a convulsive, weeping sorrow that is not fit for a man.  You’ve drained and weakened me to nothingness, my dreadful Loneliness.

Cold Woman.


Why did you slap me awake at 2:40 a.m.?  Why did you sink your sad hard fist into my vulnerable stomach?

This is a violent romance.  We’re not right for each other.

I want a divorce.

Tell you what—I’ll open my laptop and write one for you.

You’re welcome to stay for five hundred pages before you move out.
Andrew Dabar

Days Inn, Room 234
Albuquerque, NM
3 a.m.