I talk a lot.
Like, a lot.
Anyone who has ever met me, and gotten past the point where I tend to want to observe before I jump in, knows that I utter an immense number of words. If they are paying attention, however, they also notice that I say very little. Oh sure, let’s discuss chondritic meteorites or educational philosophers (Erik Erikson is my spirit animal) or the relative merits of butter over shortening in a pie crust. But I don’t reveal anything about myself. Pretty much as a rule. What you get from me is sarcasm and sass, and occasional insight, but only into the things I’ve declassified.
One on one, though, the conversation changes. Not at first, and not with everyone, but every once in awhile, with enough trust or liquid courage, I start to unravel the bits and pieces that make me who I am. These are quiet conversations, hushed voices, close proximity, and gentle words. These are the rare moments in which I really say something.
Can we have one of those now? Because I have something to say.
I want to apologize. To all of the extraordinarily well meaning people who have reached out in kindness. I’m sorry that I’m needy, but I can’t tell you what I want. I’m sorry I repeat myself, that I can’t remember who I told this story to because there have been too many people in my path today. I’m sorry that I need you to hold my hand, but that I won’t tell you because I’m afraid of becoming a nuisance. I’m sorry that I’m obsessive and that I can’t make a decision and that I fight about things that don’t matter.
But mostly, I’m sorry that you can’t help. You ask me how I’m doing, only to be met with a tight smile and some form of, “I’m holding up/As well as can be expected/Any better, couldn’t stand it.” I’m sorry for the blow offs, I’m sorry for the flip responses, I’m sorry for extracting myself from your grasp and your vicinity as quickly as possible. I’m sorry that I don’t have the time or energy to break down into your arms and tell you how much it sucks to be me right now. I’m so sorry.
It isn’t you. It’s me.
I am in 30 kinds of pain I can’t even identify. I feel like I’m drowning in a vast wasteland of the ever-present now. I can’t go back and fix anything and I can’t move forward, so here I sit: shuffling from one day to the next without a plan, just trying to get through this moment so that I can get to the next one and the next one.
Please don’t give up on me.