This woman I know is strong. This woman you want does not exist. Despite agreeing to split two appetizers with you and seeming, in your eyes, charmingly overwhelmed by the menu’s options, her favorite time of the day is not having dinner with you at all. Her favorite time of day is when the waiter starts coming around putting little votive candles on the tables.
However, she picked this restaurant for its big booths because they make her feel like she is falling into a giant comfortable pillow; sinking into a hug trying to seek comfort. Hugs from furniture don’t mislead her; like a cushion safely placed on her stomach and held tight that acts like a soft fender for her gut. This woman also accepts hugs from the weight of a dentist’s X-ray apron. Or from Canada Goose Jackets, nicely stacked next to each other on a rack, inviting her to fold herself into them. From going to the movie theaters by herself in the day. From resting her face against cold marble surface. From stepping into the sunlight and closing her eyes. From listening to the neighbor’s dog sigh.
Yet, she is not harsh, standoffish, unwilling and up to something. She is not narcissistic, a snob, a spy or some suspect. She is not haughty, selfish, plenty vain, but she is proud and affected of what she has achieved so far. She is looking at her own reflections in the mirror that is behind you at the restaurant. Despite your grievances, she is not withholding. She will simply not tell you anymore about the things she takes an interest in, because what she does not want is this: that you procure them from her. Why? Because you yearn for her vulnerability. Which you believe comes complimentary, like pretzels on a flight; two small bags and a smile.
Vulnerability, however, she refuses to give you because she is, after all these years, gaining back control and custody of herself which feels amazing to her. She realized that somewhere, all the way down, most things lost will eventually be found. For her, it is an everyday process of retrieval moving at the speed of someone gathering dirty laundry from the floor – silently regretting this one cardigan she bought and only wore once but she remembered when and where she bought it. She also gets distracted by the labels on the back of her T-shirts that is annoyingly so she just tears it off -most of the time leaving no hole. That’s the speed she moves at. She doesn’t like to accomplish things fast. Good things take time. She is too sensitive but got sucked in and convinced to move too quickly. She loves and is fine with that many times, her thought just come up like goop squeezed out of a tube.
Your obsession is your obsession. What absorbs you though is merely her. You believe that your fascinations, ideas, and projects have manifested her. However, she is an iceberg you have mistaken for an island – discoverable in your eyes. She is open in ways that do not attract attention, in the same manner, she attracts attention. There is a difference but neither requires your sanction. She knows what she needs – you do not have to tell her. You do not have to fix her life. Rather fix your own. Do you know when she sits somewhere and extends her neck, sits up straight and communicates her posture? She is self-confident. Are you?
This woman likes completeness, security, honesty, and this feeling that she can be herself and say whatever she wants. Lies destroy things, she never wants lies. She wishes she had an understanding for small talk, cheating or arbitrary tone when airing something considered. Also, for soft-boiling an egg. Why is this always a challenge? While she sat at a library the other day, almost uninterrupted for one hour, she readjusted her posture various times. She got distracted by the Peanut M&M’s in the vending machine. The day progressed. The library’s quiet time came to be its own noise; like artificial silence forged from real silence. Is everybody playing pretend-silence? This is one of the places she is happy. Here, she can think, read and write. She was tired of reading after one hour and thought if this is how cheating must feel. Sentences begin to float off the page and the focus becomes unfaithful, and then the book starts to flop like a fainted body. Off to the next one?
This woman finishes the chapter and looks up from her page and then down at the library’s carpet beneath her feet. There is a cord close to her desk, lengths of it, looping all over the place. The janitor has started vacuuming. The library will soon close for the night. It is time to pack her things and say goodnight.