That’s what they called tuberculosis back in the Nineteenth Century, before antibiotics, before effective treatment regimens, before sanitariums were established to isolate, then treat the sick. We don’t talk about consumption as a disease anymore. Tuberculosis is tuberculosis or TB.
But there is a consumption many of us feel. That we are consumed by our longing, for sexual expression, fulfillment and release. It involves our passion for our partners, who were, once, our lovers. The drama and the dreams live on for us, but our lovers moved on to other things, defeated by hormones, or anger, or fear of being consumed in the sweat and the lust and the passion.
It is too much to be loved so completely, I suspect. There is the regret of knowing the passion cannot be exchanged, the shame of quitting the race, the surrender to growing up.