Maybe it’s not that I have nothing more to say. Maybe I’m too aware of the audience. I no longer write with abandon. Will so and so think this is about them and take it the wrong way? Become offended? Will anyone know this is fiction or will they believe this happened to me? Will everyone know this is the truth or will they think I made it up? Have I said too much? Have I not said enough?
I’ve been editing a post off and on since Sunday, writing, rewriting, deleting, trying to strike the perfect balance of what I want to reveal. And now I think I’ll just scrap it, delete forever, I can’t get it down. Once upon a time I would just write and publish in a half-hour or however long it took. First draft. No thought to the consequences. Write. Publish. Chips fall where they may. But I was here alone then. And now the threat of consequences paralyses me.
Maybe it’s just a phase. Maybe it’s just part of my weird annual fall cycle, where I quietly fall to pieces all the while putting on the strong front supporting everyone else I know (who seem to also fall to pieces every September). I listen. I reassure. Everyone vents. I nod at all the right places, say all the things I’m supposed to say. I don’t mind it. Listening comes natural. It’s what I do. I listen. I empathise. I look for logical solutions, give a viewpoint. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Even when I was a teenager I was in the centre of my parents marriage, listening, trying to counsel. (A terrible place to put your kids, by the way, I don’t recommend it.)
A long time ago a man told me he fell in love with me while watching me listen to a troubled friend and comfort her. He said he had never seen anyone focus so much attention on another person and he knew then that he needed me in his life. I’ve heard some version of this a few times. I’ve been called intense, passionate, and a bunch of other stuff. But what they all really mean is that they want to be listened to like that, so intently. That’s all. I mean, who doesn’t want somebody to listen? To have someone’s undivided attention and genuine interest in what you’ve got to say . . . that’s what everyone wants.
I will write again.
This is the story of my life
And I write it everyday
I know it isn’t black and white
And it’s anything but gray
I know that no, I’m not alright
But I’ll be OK ‘cause
Anything can, everything can happen
That’s the story of my life
Drinking: coffee spiked with brandy (or is it brandy with a splash of coffee?)
Listening To: Bon Jovi, Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Hair: hiding my face