There are times when I wish I knew exactly what to say and do to get exactly what I need.
Someone could be like, “Yo, dog, what’s up? You want to take a left?” And I could be like, “Yeah, man. Straight up! Take a left. That’s the way.”
I’m not like that though. I like to mull things over. I might even swish a thought around long enough for it to burn before I’m good and ready to spit.
“Hmmm,” swish-swish. “Hmmm.”
I used to be very clear about the direction. I could see it coming and have time enough to swish and spit. Not lately though. Now I’m in a state of continual questioning.
“Do you like pancakes? Do you really want to dance? Is your mom really a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.”
Yes, these are the things I consider. Almost everything. And, then again, it’s almost nothing at all, because every thought itself is being questioned.
“Should I even question my question?” I think.
My dad says talking is bad. He doesn’t like when I have an outpour of emotional confusion or boundary clarification.
“Stop this talking,” he says. “It does nothing.”
“I want to do it for me though. I want to say this.”
“Please,” he says. “No talking. I have so much stress.”
“Okay,” I say. “Then we can talk later.”
“No, talk,” he says.
What a gracious guy? He says he’s under stress and doesn’t want to talk, but he doesn’t want to let it go either. He wants to be there.
“What can I do?” he asks.
As I talk about gifts and what they mean to me, and my own inability to accept them, I can hear my words; see them topple down into unnecessary validation.
“I just want to say thank you for the gift. It means a lot.”
“Good to hear,” he says.
I could go on to explain my world view and present my issues around the philosophy of gift-giving and how it becomes unnecessary to announce the price tag or pressures to create a gift for me, and how that makes it feel not like a gift, but that’s me getting into his story.
He has conditions. He has checks and balances.
Now why would I go out of my way to try to explain my worldview to someone? Why does it become so important to make that clear? It’s not like his worldview will change. It’s not like people who see life in terms of right and wrong, winning and losing, or success and failure will ever change their minds about it, unless they want to. Why am I so heartbent on making it a point to explain myself or tell anyone anything?
It’s kind of violent if you think about it. It’s just as violent as the act committed against me. It’s simply an eye for an eye, and Ghandi has told us how well one can see after that exchange.
So, knowing that, why would I say anything at all? Why do I need to explain anything I do or feel about things?
It’s so unnecessary. But, still, I am compelled to reach out to my family and friends to let them know the minutest of details and show them that I care.
My brother recently told me that he’s fed up with my “I don’t know” standpoint, and that he wants advice and not silence to things. He says he’s fed up with it and it makes him angry.
“And uncomfortable,” he pauses. “I’m done with it!”
I can’t change my “I don’t know” stance. I can’t give advice on relationships. I can’t tell a person what to do. I can’t be a guide on Mapquest to anyone but me. I can swish for hours. I can stop traffic or pull over to wait. I can be a quandary’s quadratic infinity.
“I need answers,” my brother says. “I need no talking,” my father says. “Lets just have fun,” a lover says.
I get stopped. Overwhelmed. Quiet.
“You there?!” they ask.
“Yes,” I say. “I’m here.”
I wonder if getting what you need is as easy as giving others what they want. Why not give answers? Why not stop talking? Why not just have fun? Why not be what everyone wants?
Hello? Oh, hold on. GO-GO-GADGET LEGS!
It’s hard to be what anyone else wants. It’s even tougher to have expectations of what others need to be.
There’s no way I can change my dad, brother, or lover. I can’t do anything about any of them. I can only take care of me. Only me.
What do you want to do tonight?
I want to celebrate.
Because I have a great life, I got a family who digs me, a hot girlfriend, and beautiful me. And even if I didn’t have any of that, I got this. I got this me. This kid from Tehran. This painter, writer, and musician. And even if I didn’t have that, I got this. I got this me who is looking, seeing smelling, and tasting. And even if I didn’t have that, I got this. I got this -
Who am I?
Just like this.
What if you were just born?
Just like that.
What if you were already dead?
Just like it.
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