I am sitting in the dark. No lights on. The only illumination comes from my computer screen. Outside, lights from other houses across the creek are blinking on, twinkling, sparkling, cutting through the inky blackness of the evening. Sending a thin beam slicing through the thick night that crowds around the houses from which minute lights emanate. They provide a safe haven for the people living there. Tiny beacons, declaring life exists in other places, places that I cannot reach or touch. Nothing illuminates my world. My house is black. As is my life. I am sitting in the dark in more than one way. A heart without hope is a very dark place indeed. Existing without options…that is a state of utter darkness. Trying to live without any resources…financial, emotional, mental…is crushing me. This is darkness deeper than anything I have ever experienced, known or heard of. It is not just dark; it is void of light. A vacuum. This is where I am. This is likely where I will die…if the universe has any mercy left in it for me. Why is it that some people always have someone there to catch them when they fall…and others don’t? Why is it there are always arms reaching out for some individuals, but only empty air, harsh rejection and judgment for others? Why is it that there are people who are willing to help in major ways…even significant financial ways, opening a door kind of ways, for so many people…and there is nothing but darkness and emptiness available to others? I am one of the others. I am offered words, but no resources. Condolences, but no assistance. I am told I will be remembered in prayers, but I am not provided with opportunities. I am one who falls into the abyss. Alone. I am one who, though I cry out in utter desperation for help, my words have no sound. They do not reach the ears of those about me. Or people are deaf to me. Or perhaps I simply do not matter in even a small or insignificant way. I am not worth a backward glance to see what the desperate, irritating noise I produce during my frantic free-fall is all about. I am one of those people that others run from when they are falling and in need instead of run toward. I am one of the ignored. The unwanted. The unworthy. The disgusting. The worthless. I am one of those despicable people everyone looks at and says, “Oh, thank God I am not like them!” I am stuck with me. I can’t shed my skin and become someone else. Someone fabulous. Someone who wins. Someone who has worth. I am in a very dark place. My life has been lived in darkness and I have gone from one dark time to another. You would think I would be used to it by now. You would think I would have adapted. But I still cannot see in the the inky blackness. In the nearly non-existent illumination. In this almost lightless world in which I find I must somehow live. I constantly stumble and fall. Big drops off cliffs. Life changing falls. As a result, my heart is continually broken. My soul is bleeding and wounded. My emotions are raw. My inner being cries out in excruciating pain. I have nothing left. All of my efforts have failed. I am old and useless and am unable to pick up the crushed pieces of my world. And there is no one to blame but myself. My state of affairs is all my fault. I did this. I am the one who destroyed my life. Sitting here in the dark, I am waiting for the end. When all the lights go out…even those I can now see twinkling through the trees in the distance. I pray that when it happens, it ends my life as well as my world. Having to continue to breathe afterward would be utterly cruel. If the darkness is going to take me, I pray that it takes me away. That silence swallows me. That the lights all go off when time finally runs out, when there are no options other than homelessness and grave need. That when I wake on that day, it will not be in this place of struggle and pain, where time defines us and light is hard to come by. I pray that I will finally find rest and relief. Freedom and peace. That I will understand at last why my life has been so hard and hurtful and empty. Why I have been relegated to the dark places and forced to watch life from afar. Why I have been left to sit in the dark while others danced in the light. Until that time when time is no more, I remain a prisoner, chained in the shadows of the night, alone in the quiet hours after midnight when everyone sleeps and only the tiniest night light remains to vaguely illuminate the way. I watch for dawn, but it is still long, long distant, eons away, unreachable, even unimaginable. My eyes continue to search, though my heart has all but given up. I sit in the darkness and pray for redemption. For mercy. For resurrection. They are my only hope. A very distant, dim pin-prick of shadowy light that may just be a figment of my imagination.