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A chance encounter during one of the myriad trips down Facebook lane, led me to post the question, “At what point does hope become delusion?” The answer given by my discourse partner was ‘”When denial is not just a place in Egypt”.  I replied, but what if denial was not present at all? What if there were two equally plausible roads to take, one that leads to hope and one to delusion, but you have no idea which is which really. A thorny question, she retorted. For her, she said, she chooses good and trustworthy counsel from people whose lives demonstrate the values she shares.  I examined that with the microscopic eye of a Sherlock in training. Demonstrates, she said, not the spouting of values in speak, but rather the demonstrative actions required to solidify the value of the values. It got me thinking. What more challenge is there to hope and delusion than unrequited love or unrequited anything for that matter? There must be an object for unrequited love. It cannot exist in a vacuum. It would disappear very quickly, like the fog on a morning mirror after a shower. The recipient very much requites, requires and receives the benefits of it or there would be no such thing.

This type of love requires hope and delusion to keep it going. If you try and pull away for good or if you truly see the delusion of your hope that the affection would be reciprocated, then the subject will simply dangle a dazzling new delusion before you, like whispering to you as the door is about to slam shut- I love you in my own weird way. And you, like an armless swimmer in mid sea, grasps this tightly within your teeth and holds on to that hope for dear life and you walk back through that door once more. But once you present to your object your delusion as hope, they quickly dodge and dash it with a plausible proclamation that they meant it merely as they love all their dear friends. But too late, the delusion has been firmly planted again, the hope uncomfortably restored so that it becomes easy to continue to provide them the very tangible benefits they reap from this particular unrequited love.

No matter that the values demonstrated are not the same as the values spoken. You swat that aside like so many gnats as not to annoy you into flight. You see actions both abroad and near wrapped in pretty bows of their own brand of common sense and then unwrap them only to see the ugliness of them assault your integrity and your values. But no matter, you are made to be the one who understands not, who should see the sky as green when clearly all you see is blue. And again the choice is kill the unrequited love for good, remove the target once and for all or wrap that delusion in another pretty bow of hope and continue on, because the heartache trumps the mind ache every time. And should the day come when you are successful in untangling all that blue, the hope will always remain that the affection is returned one day. Until then, the delusion must die for your soul and your senses and your stomach to survive.