Monday, June 6, 2011

It pays to pay close attention

Today was a hugely emotional day.

I was wired from the get-go. My voice, as it does when I'm excited, was several octaves above my normal low key pitch. I felt energized, I wanted to dance, to throw my arms wide and toss my head back and sing (I did these things later on, trust me).

The crowds and crowds of people only added to my feverish intensity. I wanted to engage all of them, and I wanted to engage none of them. This is who I am. A contradiction. I do not want you, yet I love all of you. I compose myself, yet feel the desire to lose my inhibitions and expose all that I feel. It's exhausting and exhilarating...and sometimes so confusing.

Later, I try to convey this to her, and I make a bad mess of it. Words elude me, the ability to tell her, to share what I have experienced, is beyond me, and I end up doing the exact opposite of what I mean to. When all I want is to let her know that all I wanted was for her to be there with me, becomes something that comes across as me challenging her, and defying that what she speaks is the truth. I am definitive, and harsh, and almost without mercy.

When she starts to cry, because I have pushed her beyond her limits, because I have challenged something that should not be challenged, and then she gets angry, I beg off. I end the conversation. If it can even be called a conversation. Which it can't, really. It's just words being tossed back and forth, that make no sense, and accomplish nothing. So I end it, and hang up.

This learning curve, while not steep, is harsh. I do call her back, twenty minutes later. Our voices are hushed, soft, careful. I take the time to explain that what I said is not what I meant. I then go on to explain what I meant. She listens, accepts my apologies, offers her own. We reach an understanding, that could not have been met had we both not been open to the possibility in the first place. I tell her I am grateful she takes the time to listen and appreciate. She tells me I should be more careful with what I say. She's right, but I explain my defense mechanisms. She says she understands.

I apologize for making her cry. She says she wouldn't cry if she didn't care. She just wants to understand. Alright. Well. It's up to me to do a better job. I choose my words carefully, and tell her, without the confrontational tone, that I have to unlearn what I have learned. And if she could just be patient, I will do just that.

We reach that understanding, admit that today was emotionally difficult, that missing each other intensely is not conducive to proper conversation, and then we say goodnight.

Goodnight, as in, I'll talk to you first thing in the morning. Goodnight, as in, I love you, only you. Goodnight, as in, soon.

Very soon.

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