30 August 2005

restraint

Helena's talking about today here, the adult life, the now, but with both our recent adolescent musings, I find my own answer coming from that younger voice.

You taught me restraint. I used to light up at the prospect of seeing you, but then you stopped and remained unmoved. Again and again and again. Delight in seeing a friend was uncool; I learned my lesson. I held back; I trained myself to care less. It was good preparation for high school. Maybe I should've thanked you.

Except it was work and left me numb and depressed. And sometimes vexed: the armor was so effective, my intent was often misunderstood. In college, I couldn't take it anymore. If I heard the word "stoic" one more time, I was going to hit someone. The armor dropped away for a time but always stood ready to return if I felt hurt.

It's come and gone over the years. Many times I've stepped free of it only to be thrust back, face in the dirt, by some lie of omission. I still can't get used to the idea that I'm supposed to interrogate you to be sure you're telling me everything I need to know. That's what you implied, you know, when you said, "But you never asked..." What ever happened to trust, decency, and integrity?

Now I endeavor to stand on the fulcrum supporting trust, the point where there is no risk. But if you step back, I will, so we can preserve the balance together.

4 comments :

  1. Oh, that dance! You step forward, I step forward. You step back, I step back. I have always been a slug on the sidewalk. But on a few occasions I have managed to crawl into a hole. Armor sounds nice sometimes, but heavy.

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  2. Yeah, that dance, but I can't say it goes as smoothly as I'd like to imagine it does.

    As for the armor, I think it's gotten a lot lighter with time, but also a lot less effective. Perhaps not so much armor at all anymore, but just me trying to convince myself that I don't care about whatever.

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  3. i like this! not the feeling that you describe (hate that!) but i can definitely identify.

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  4. I know what you mean, Sizz. The feeling I can do without, but the words... I like the words here.

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