Never is a very long time.  And a lonely time at that. 
    Where his counterpart forever carries great promise, never arrives empty handed, having traversed pathways worn by fear and pain, anger and frustration. He arrives first and, of course, he never leaves.
    Never is lean. He is skin stretched over bones and a face that has forgotten how to smile.
    Poe knew never.  In fact he knew him so well that the heart that once beat Lenore, thundered "never" into his brain, driving him to madness and beyond. Never was Poe's dark chamber. Never became his crypt.
     Hemmingway borrowed Poe's bell that rang out "never" and then killed himself , never to return it.  But it doesn't matter, as there's always plenty of never to go around. 
    Never doesn't observe holidays and special occasions, nor does he use a calendar.  When you own time, there's never a need to keep track of it. 
    In a world where time is money, never is expensive. And, unfortunately, he offers no return on the investment.  Extortionist that he is, he'll suck our accounts dry and stand there with his hand still extended.
    Never is a vampire.  He feeds off tragedies like broken hearts and untimely deaths.  His system converts them to poison, which he spews over guilty and innocent alike.  He is condemned to live in darkness and strives to rid the world of glimmers of hope and golden threads of promise.
    Never punishes us and then laughs at us when we feel remorse. He is judge, jury, jailer, and executioner all in one. He is our victim and our offender as well.
    Never is Camus' stranger.  He will kill without cause.
    He is also the constant companion who controls our every deed.
    Never doesn't permit the exchange of civilities during the chance encounter, leaving us to answer questions like, "Mommy, did you know that man" with responses like, "No, but he reminds me of someone I once knew."   
    And when we wish to apologize for having expected someone who couldn't or wouldn't or shouldn't to put the pieces of us back together, never sees to it that we never get the chance.
    Never doesn't know the words "I'm sorry."  Nor does he forgive.
    When misfortune strikes others, never refuses the comfort we offer.
    Never doesn't accept visitors, even when we are on our deathbeds and need to make peace with the world.
    And if by some miracle, we find the way to heaven, never forbids us the coming together to celebrate the release from our chains.
    Yes, never is a very, very long time.