I think I'm starting to feel something. It's not quite something I
want to acknowledge, though, because Lord knows that whenever we actually decide to think about what we're feeling or how
we're feeling, we screw it up beyond God's belief until we're so confused that all we really want to do is cry until our eyes
swell shut, and we have no choice but to fall asleep and pray that the next day is a little more uplifting and a little less
Or maybe that's just me.
See, he and I were having one of our short chats today, the ones filled
with banter and jokes and laughter and everything else that we use to keep life from getting in the way of blissful ignorance,
when he turned philosophical on me.
It's funny how quickly immaturity can mature.
It's funny how many times people can know but not understand.
It's funny how the things you leave unsaid get under your skin and itch
and burn and ache until you want to tear your hair out for the sheer need of freedom from yourself and your own frustration.
He never leaves anything unsaid, but I do.
"So, I was thinking today about how much people rely on human contact."
I used to rely on your hugs and friendly forehead kisses.
"Dare I ask why you were thinking about that?"
"Probably not. You know me--I'm random. But do you think it's
healthy for people to need people so much?"
I know it's not, because it's never healthy to hurt like you do when
you need something that you can't have. "Why wouldn't it be?"
"I don't know. I guess I just don't like that hurt that comes when
you need someone that's nowhere around."
Like you? "When did you hurt like that?"
"Sometime during the last girlfriend. She wasn't much of a touchy-feely
person, and she always seemed so far away. She hated to let me hold her."
You could always hold me because sometimes it takes all of the strength
in the world just to hold myself together and I'm not much good at that as it is. "See, to me, that's unhealthy.
Why wouldn't she let you hold her?"
"Beats me. I always get the freaky girls that have problems with really
romantic people. I don't understand you women. I mean, you complain about chivalry being dead and all, but then
you run in the other direction when someone pulls out a chair for you. You girls just don't know what you want."
For once, I think you've got it right. "Maybe we know what
we want, but we're scared of actually getting it."
"Why would that scare anyone?"
I don't know but I know how much it scares me and sometimes I really
wish that I could just curl into a ball and hide so I don't have to find a soulmate because there's no remote possibility
that someone could be as screwed up as I am. "You tell me. Aren't you men usually the commitment-phobic ones?"
"Maybe that's my problem. I'm not like other guys."
I'm really glad you aren't like the rest of them, because enough hope
has died already without my faith in men being completely and totally destroyed. "That, I will agree with."
"So glad to know that you don't think I'm normal."
"You don't want to be normal. Normal is boring." Besides,
compared to me, you're the all-American model of perfection. I don't even know what I'm doing half the time. And
the other half, I'm trying to figure out why I'm doing what I do.
"I feel like that was a self-esteem boost. Am I allowed to take it
"As long as I'm not going to have to take a thumbtack to your ego later."
Of course, if you want me to stroke your ego, you're going to have to stroke mine a bit, because it's been abused over
and over until it's lying motionless on the ground like roadkill.
"Nah, no need for that. I think the girls down here have the rejection
thing covered. They're all for the one-nighters, but anything that spells commitment sends them screaming down the hotel
"Great for publicity, I'm sure." What kind of females do you spend
time with that they don't even see what they've got or what they could have if they'd just swallow that ridiculous fear that
plagues them every morning like it does me?
"Oh, definitely. But, I'm guessing that it's going to make the ultimate
location of Miss Right all that much sweeter."
"Always the eternal optimist." Why don't I have that kind of outlook?
Maybe you could stand by me and point out everything that makes me laugh the next time I'm crying so I can learn to smile
through my tears again.
"You know, that reminds me. Why are you such a cynic? I thought
I was supposed to be the cynic, but you don't believe in romance at all. When was the last time you had a boyfriend
When did this conversation become a stupid game of twenty questions
about my love life, or lack thereof? Besides, it's more fun to listen to you believing than it is to let myself hope
for a happy ending that won't ever come, don't you think? "Um, never? It doesn't ever work out."
"You don't ever let yourself care."
Doesn't it bother you to know me so well? It bothers me. It bothers
me, but sometimes I think I might be grateful for it. Well, I'm grateful for it until we hang up the phone.
"Right now, I'd care for a change of subject."
"Yeah, I'm funny like that." I'd still rather be genuinely funny
than sarcastic, because everyone appreciates a joke, but not everyone appreciates endless wit in place of everyday emotion.
"Always have been."
"You know me." I really, really wish you didn't because then it
wouldn't hurt so bad to know that you can't put me back together every day when I break. "So, Carter, tell me about
the latest girlfriend."
"She actually reminds me a lot of you, believe it or not. She's really
witty, and she hardly believes in romance."
"So you've finally found your cynic to nurture back to a healthy happy ending?"
I can't believe I was still holding onto hope. You'd think I'd know by now that it hurts more than it helps, and
then I'm just left to wonder why there's so much pain in the world.
"Eh, not really. We fit together for now, but I don't think she'll
be a long-term thing. She's not looking for a good boyfriend, she's looking for trouble. But it's fun for now,
and that's what matters, right?"
"How'd you run into her?" 'Cause you always manage to find some
type of happiness just while I'm stuck catching my tears before anyone else can see that they exist.
"Well, we were at this burger joint, and I was with the guys, and we were
laughing, and she caught my eye from across the room, and..."
"You're going to attempt to throw me that 'love at first' sight junk again,
aren't you?" Maybe if I actually ever saw it, I'd believe it. But you can't know a person after one glance in his/her
direction. I'm not a pretty person, but I know that my outsides are prettier than my insides.
"No, I know better. We'll just say that I had the good sense to go
up and talk to her, and one thing led to another."
"Sounds like the beginning of a match made in heaven." Now, lead
me to the next Burger King so I can find Mr. Right. I'm
sure he's waiting by the door for someone to come and turn his
life upside down, and I'm more than capable of standing life
on its end.
"I can feel the sincerity just oozing through that comment."
"Nothing ever gets by you, does it?" Instead, it walks beside
you for miles and miles and you ignore it anyway because there's so much more that you'd rather be looking at than a truth
you don't want to acknowledge.
"Nope." A precious pause while he groped for something to say.
"So, tell me, any random thoughts of the day that we need to analyze to death?"
Yeah, just one...why do I put myself through the torture of talking
to you over and over and over? "Not really. Well, okay...one. If you could be any kind of fruit, what
kind of fruit would you be?"
I wish I could make decisions that quickly, but my brain would rather
analyze everything forwards, backwards, and upside down before I have a remote chance of feeling confident. "Why
"Well, they're your favorite, aren't they?"
I keep forgetting that you can't see me, and therefore you can't see
the large, multi-colored "don't confuse" sign that I've tattooed on my forehead. "I can't believe you remember
stuff like that."
"I'm part elephant."
"Oh, is that what it is?" 'Cause, you know, for a second there,
you actually had me thinking that you cared enough to remember random facts. "So, why would you want to be my favorite
"I figure that, if I'm your favorite, then you're definitely required to
stick around me, and I want to make sure you don't go anywhere."
"Thanks." Thanks. You've managed to restore my faith in
myself for a miraculous minute...and counting...
"Anytime. I don't say things I don't mean."
It's funny, because I don't even say the things I do mean, even when they're
pinching and bending and breaking a heart that I never chose to acknowledge within myself. But I think I'm starting
to feel something anyway.
The good news? I think that maybe, for once in my life, there's that
teeny, tiny chance that someone else might be feeling it too.