Dearest Rachel –
Sometimes people leave you“No One Is Alone” from Into The Woods
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what’s good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.
The song sprang to my head early this morning, as I tried to figure out what Chompers wanted at what even I would consider to be unpleasantly early on a Saturday. I’d gotten him outside to pee, and set him in the sunroom, thinking that was what he wanted now that he was up. But after a drink of water, he whined for me to prop him up, and he tottered toward the hall leading back to the master bedroom. So, did he actually want to go back to sleep? And would he permit me to join him in slumberland?
Ha-ha, no, of course not.
And that’s why this song came to mind – along with the fast that you so dearly loved the Broadway production of this show back when I was on the verge of graduating, and you were edging your way to the midpoint of your college career – because the baker keeps trying to fob his son off to Cinderella, explaining that “he always cries when I hold him.” And Chompers is always a little dissatisfied when it’s just me there to tend to him, and I don’t know what to do. And just like at the end of the day, the beginning of the day is a long crawl of “how do I deal with this? How did you deal with this?”
And there’s no Cinderella to help me out (although I suppose Daniel serves as a Jack analogue… only, not when he’s sleeping).
But the song keeps repeating that “you are not alone / No one is alone” as an attempt, however hollow-sounding it may be, at reassurance. And it’s not wrong, thankfully. It’s just that, at that moment, I am alone. At this point, I can’t expect someone to be there when I go to bed, or when I wake up… but those are the moments when I feel the emptiness, the lack of someone the keenest.
Because you have left me halfway through the woods, just like the song says. And Daniel and I are left to deal with the giants that, well, we’d never been aware of before. Were they always there and we were too carefree to notice? Or are they the things we’re dealing with because you left us? And how do we deal with that suddenly missing part of ourselves that was you?
I asked Ellen about this last night, because I don’t understand how she – or anyone who’s single – deals with that absence, the alone-ness. To be honest, I don’t think I understood – or remembered, exactly – what she responded with, other than that she never felt “in love,” and to that extent, really doesn’t miss what she never had. It isn’t much help for me, as I did and I do, so… yeah, we may as well be speaking different languages.
I’m hoping this will sort itself out, given time and patience – things that I confess to having in short supply at the moment. Honestly, I’d just like to get back to normal… but I don’t know if that’s ever going to be a thing. Or what its newest incarnation is going to look like, and whether I’d even like it.
All I can do for now is to prop the old boy up in the sunroom (since he’s now made it clear he’s not going back to sleep), and walk him around until he finally finds a spot he can comfortably settle in on, and let him do so.
So for now, take care, honey. I’ll talk to you later.
P.S. I should note that, at least in the stage version – and you would remember this – the story doesn’t quite end with a happily ever after, either. Oh, the finale does try to end with that phrase, but Cinderella subverts it with a quick “I wish,” right at the end – which doesn’t even musically resolve.
I don’t know if that means anything, necessarily, but I thought it deserved mentioning. I present the story to you, and you take it for whatever you think it’s worth.