October 29, 2012

I had a long, long dream last night. The kind that started out pleasant, and ended - rather abruptly when the phone rang in the background - on a not-so-fun-note. When the dream began, I had just returned to NY. It's unclear whether I was there to visit, or there to stay, but I was one by one meeting people who had I had been very good friends with once-upon-a-time but haven't spoken to in many years.  As I was floating through the streets of Manhattan, everything was distorted and diaphanous in the way that only dreams can be. What was very sharp, and very clear, was the conversation that I was having with each of my friends. It was as if we began where we might have left of all-those-many-years-ago when we stopped being as close. Each conversation was a revelation, and while the details fade from my mind, I wonder what the sub-textual meanings of those gossip sessions were. We spoke about men, about money, about love, about the lack-of-love. About life, about dreams. About them, about me.

And then the last, and most disturbing conversation took place while the evening came to a close.  I was walking with the friend who I had been closest to when I was growing up. We were circling slowly around a parking lot of an abandoned building (I was sure there was no one inside, but there were a LOT of cars parked around it), looking for my car. She asked me what the licence plate number was, and I told her and also explained what it stood for (my birthday). While we walked, we spoke about her marriage, her husband, her child and her life. And she sounded like she was unhappy. So I asked her, is everything okay? She said, yes it is, why shouldn't it be?

I said 'ok', and we walked on. But then she told me anyway. She told me that her life was not what she had planned out, and that she wanted something different. She wanted to fly, and that was not possible given where she had landed. And then, before you knew it she became angry with me. To her, this was all my fault. I asked her why, what had I done? That's the problem, she said. You don't DO anything. It's enough for you to BE in order for things to change. And is that bad? I asked, being a catalyst for change? Sometimes it is, she said. Perhaps that's why our friendship leveled off to a point when we could no longer be friends. I wasn't in a state of constant movement like you and those who you chose to be with. I was standing still.

I was confused (still am) by the dialogue, and I asked her why her current discontent had anything to do with me, given how we haven't met in so many years. She tells me again that this is all my fault, it always is. I ask her, why, and how. She replies, people like you are poisonous. They can't just be and let be. They need to question, they need to probe, and prod and find answers no matter what the consequences. If you could just let me be, I'd live a happy life. When you ask me to define meaning, when you ask me to evaluate and assess my life for romance, when you ask me if I'm happy - you're poisoning what I have with doubts and longing for what I don't have. It's people like you who will never be happy.

And then the phone rang. 

4 comments:

B said...

Who was on the phone?

Xeb said...

Phone?

Xeb said...

Ah, the phone. I don't remember, actually :P I think it might have been someone for my mother.

Anonymous said...

you were thinking of NY because of the storm
and thinking of NY naturally means thinking of those people

and you do over analyze
but sure you are not poison...
people blame the one who made them realize whats wrong in their lives

so stop worrying