She was on the train heading home after her evening class.
The conversation slid around and ended up delving into “the bad day she had” and how she just finished a “meditation about how many things were wrong with her”. I said, with interest, “What could be wrong with you, …I think you’re great!” No need to tell other guys that having this conversation while falling asleep on the couch was not a topic which held me in rapt attention.
So I listened. Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes passed without me uttering a word, …she was reviewing a lot. As I listened …or so I thought I was listening …I fell asleep. I woke up to her raising her voice looking for an answer to a question. I tried an enthusiastic “Yes!” into the phone. It worked.
I got up from the couch and went to brush my teeth, I needed to wakeup, she was still talking. I brushed, the phone call played on. “How callous am I??” flashed thru my mind. Now I was beginning to wonder about me! Not a problem, I found the answer in twenty-two seconds. I picked up the phone and said “Honey, this is way too much thinking. You sound wonderful. Can I call you tomorrow?” I hung up.
Now I was awake. Self-doubt wandered thru my mind: “I wonder what’s wrong with meee?” I knew calling one of my guy friends would only yield a painful list of “what was actually wrong with me”. Sugar coating would be the way my friend wove my inadequacies with my faults and sprinkled my many dating failures over the top. I didn’t call, I didn’t have the energy to laugh that much this late. My faults are pretty funny.
On top of that, if I did call him, when I asked the question “What’s wrong with me?” his first sentence would be “Are you crazy? Have you been talking with your girlfriend again?” Of course I had, how else would I have ever thought up looking for a list of my personal failures.
I needed sleep. I must return to my “inner guyness” before I got too sensitive. I opened up a fresh beer and my mind instantly cleared. I contemplated the pleasure. I have nothing to think about except “my beer” and “taking the next sip”. Simple thoughts, simple pleasures.
My girlfriend? I love her. I support her. I am still the star in her eyes. I give her all the support she needs by just being there for her, and listening. I don’t need to say much. And yet I remain a mystery to her, I know she is wondering what I am thinking sometimes, and she asks. I answer with a glowing bit of prose about us, and life, and how the ocean and the mountains and the sun on her hair make me smile.
Of course if I shared what I was actually thinking I am not sure it would hold her interest as much, nor reinforce our delightful relationship. It’s really about why the car stereo I just installed myself rattles when I go over bumps, and just how am I going to get back out on my Big Kahuna 29er mountain bike this weekend… I guess in my mind are thoughts about me and my day. I don’t know much, but I do know: My life goes on… Yours??
Post by Geoff LaPlace
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