Monday, March 01, 2010

right shoe to left shoe: a proposition

[A man in his early 30s enters the room. He is not the type of man who takes joys in frivolous expenditures of money. However, he does appreciate having nice things. This is evident in the shoes he chose to wear on this particular day. Upon entering the living room, he walks over to his favorite chair and sits down. He is looking over the NASDAQ figures. There is something about reading stock market fluctuations that makes him feel ill at ease. His pigeon-toed posture often gives this uneasiness away. This puts his left and his right shoe toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye. While he takes in the paper, his shoes are take in each other. This ritual has gone on for sometime and is one that is comforting and enjoyed by all involved parties. These moments are candid and treasured.]

-Can I ask you a question?
=I hope that was satisfying.
=Your question.
-I’m sorry?
=Your question, You asked me a question. I was wondering if it was satisfying.
-I’m confused.
=People often ask one another if they can ask a question without acknowledging that the inquiry is itself a question posed. I find it humorous.
=if I had a question, I might announce that need or diplomatically state: “With your permission, I have a general inquiry.”
=(a look of concern sweeps over the room) I’m sorry. I’m being difficult. … Again.
-Yes. It’s fine.
=You were going to ask me something, before I went on my tangent of grandeur.
-Well, yes. … I have something to tell you, but I need to know something. I am wondering if you will promise not to get upset?
=I don’t know how to respond to that.
-(meekly) With a smile? A nod in agreement?
=You’re asking me to listen to something and not get upset. This leads me to believe that you believe whatever you’re about to tell me would upset a rational being, that you’re going to tell me this something regardless and expect me to transcend my natural emotional state and not get upset. You know I’m not an existentialist!
-You’re partially right. You’re partially wrong, too.
=(Has progressively inched forward up to up until now. At this point, reclines a bit) Enlighten me.
-Well, first off, I would never say what I am about to say to you to a rational being. So, that part is moot. However, all that other stuff you said about transcendence was spot on.
=(brief pause) Well…I’m going to tell you yes, but really I am not sure if this is a promise I can keep.
-I did this all wrong. I’m terrible at this sort of thing.
=This sort of thing?! What does that even mean? I feel like I should be bracing for impact.
-I have been think a lot about you and me, me and you—us and something has popped into my thoughts that I just can’t seem to shake. I don’t know exactly how to put it, but—
=Oh god. Here it comes.
-I should just have out with it, before you faint…again.
=(pause) That was one time and I told you that when we got to the butterfly house that insects make me nervous. It doesn’t matter if they are beautiful insects. A bug is a bug. I knew I’d never live this down—
-I think you’re neurotic! There it is. I said it.
=(straightens up in a corrective posture)
-See?! I knew you’d be upset.
=That shows what you know, Nobel Laureate. I am not upset. Not upset in the slightest.
=Offended, but not upset. Perhaps it is neurotic to note the difference?
-You’re taking this the wrong way.
=So, I’m neurotic AND wrong?!
-I keep saying things wrong—err..poorly. What I meant to say is that you’re acting like being neurotic is a bad thing.
=Well, isn’t it?
-I suppose it could be to some.
=To some?
-Yes, I suppose, but not to me.
=I wonder what we should put on the plaque?
-You’re being sarcastic and I’m being serious.
=How can you blame me? We start with you telling me that you’re going to upset me, but I shouldn’t get upset. We beat around the bush, for what seems like an eternity. At one point, I thought I was going to get the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. This quickly devolved into the “it’s not me, it’s you” song and dance when you so callously called me a lunatic and told me not to worry, because it’s a good thing.
-We started with me asking you a question and, for the record, I said you were neurotic not a lunatic.
=Don’t be shirty.
-I’m not. Let me explain where all this came from, so you can understand why this is a good thing.
A handful of months ago, I thought I wanted to take a break from us.
=I need to lie down.
-Stop that. Let me finish. I have a point.
=Carry on.
-Thank you. This thought came to me during hot yoga. I felt incomplete and wondered what type of mate would complete me. Everywhere I went, I thought about this and not a sole I encountered satisfied or satiated my curiosity. After about a month of this, it occurred to me that this idea of completion is kind of bullshit.
You know?
There is nothing missing in me, I don’t require completion or the supplementation of another being. Figuring this out became a sort of centering and defining moment. An awakening, if you will. I might even call it an epiphany—perhaps.
I digress. This has also led me to think more freely about you and this is when I noticed your neurosis. You are so tightly laced, because you fixate on minutia. You notice the little things with ease, because you are tightly laced. You rarely filter things out in social settings, because you’re mind is always elsewhere. We see new places and encounter new things together. You listen to me with one ear and the world with the other. Because of this, you are always discovering new things. You surround yourself with creation. Your collections are diverse and thought provoking. In short, you stimulate and intrigue me.
If you weren’t neurotic, you would be another boring lost sole. I would never see you. I would never notice you.
I don’t want to be completed anymore than I want to complete you. What I do want is for us to occupy each other’s time for the near, foreseeable, and distant future. I kind of hope you feel the same.
=(long pause) It seems you might be a tightly-laced lunatic, too.

[He is done reading the paper. He gets up and prepares breakfast.]