When the mistakes have been made. When it’s old news. When it’s past tense. When everyone else has moved on. Then I work it out. I’m one step behind reality. I can’t keep up. “Give me time.” Time to catch up. Time to… Time to keep reality at bay.
Time to think.
Plan what I’m going to say. Plan what I’m going to think.
Time to put up the shield. Time to make my face. Time to make my voice.
Don’t put me in a new situation. No. I won’t know how to act. Won’t know what to say. Won’t know what to think. I’ll clam up. I’ll say nothing. I’ll think nothing. I won’t be there. Oh, I may look like I’m there, but I won’t be. So I’m the quiet one. Thoughtful. Contemplative. I’m there.
I’m listening. Observing. Taking it all in. Oh, keep going, I’m quite interested. Don’t be fooled. I’m not there. God, how I want to be. There’s nothing there. I’m not thinking. I’m storing, sure, but I’m not thinking. I can’t think while you’re there. You keep talking and I keep storing and later I’ll think about what you’ve said, if I remember it all. But not now. I’ll just nod my head and signal my agreement and store it all for later and then I’ll work out what you said. And then I’ll work out what I think.
What I want to say. Whether or not I agree. Then I’ll work it out. And I’ll have all the answers that I wanted to give and I’ll have all the spontaneous remarks and the witty comments and the thoughtful insights and all the little idiosyncrasies that make me who I am. I’ll have them all. Every single one. But… you’ll never hear them. Because you’ll be gone by then. I’ll have worked it out. And I’ll have the answers.
I’ll have the interesting conversation. I’ll have the personality, the charm, the wit, and the intelligence. But you’ll be gone by then. The moment will have passed. Reality will have moved on. And I’ll be entertaining and alone. You’ll be in bed. I’ll be in bed. The day will be over. And I’ll entertain you in my dreams. I’ll make you laugh so hard. Damn!
You’ll be begging me to stop. And then I’ll get serious and start telling you what’s really on my mind. And you’ll learn so much about me. You’ll find out what makes me tick. And I’ll ask about you, too. So many questions. I’ll get right inside your brain and we’ll confide in each other and become the best of friends. Damn, we’ll be so close. We’ll be able to give each other knowing looks without a word said. We’ll know when one of us is miserable. We’ll be able to read each other’s mind.