They were all around. Familiar beings. Familiar conversations. Familiar laughs. I didn’t know how else to act and speak other than how I was familiar. Why should I change? It works, doesn’t it? I sometimes wonder what I would have to do to change how they see me. What would it take for me to jump into their minds and see the real them? What would it take to have easy access to their fears, comforts and desires? How can I unlock their true opinions and queasy hearts? The surface. I will only ever scratch the surface no matter what shovel, excavator, or steel drill I use.
There are topics of discussion where I am quiet and don’t participate. Topics that don’t include me. Topics that might bring fuzzy memories, sadness or exclude me altogether. Topics that I have no control over. Topics that must be changed or I will pull out my hair and scream. I am done listening. I am finished with your dumb-ass ideas and childlike thinking. You border stupid and selfish right now. You only look away. I am still sitting here. I am still part of this group.
So I speak. I speak the only way I can in order to acquire attention from these people. These people who seem to have no deep emotional understanding whatsoever. I also scratch the surface. Tit-for-tat. I make fun of it. I make them laugh with silly jokes. I make them understand that I don’t speak their whispered language. I become bold and outgoing. I switch it on when I can, and this is one of the few moments when it is possible. Just for them. I still don’t feel like we can ever be more than how stupid my jokes are.
I can’t trust them. I can’t trust them because they don’t trust me. I only receive second-hand information anyway. Why am I even a part of this? What is the purpose of knowing someone for so long if they have never confided in you? Who had ever told you a secret that made yourself feel less alone in the world? Gossip doesn’t count. Gossip is surface. Gossip is deja vu.
But I know them better. I know them to have always been this way. I know that even though the surface is all it is, it might be a blessing in disguise. I don’t need to worry about them. I don’t need to wonder if I hurt their feelings. I don’t need to feel bad for too long if they annoyed or hurt me in such a way. They will always be there. And even though they will not always be there for me, I know people who will. It’s not a loss as much as I think it is, but it’s also not a win. Instead, it’s a silence that befalls me. A spectator to their spectacle. One day I will be a part of it. One day my past with them won’t dictate my future with them. One day we will all be close but in a different way. Our futures bonded by hope, admiration and depth of understanding of one another, instead of ancient past encounters. A part of me fears that it won’t ever happen, but I choose the optimistic path.