Sunday, August 9, 2009


She comes, in and I ask how the movie was. She hesitates, as if collecting scattered thoughts, and says “I loved it. Did you see it?”

And I can tell she’s annoyed at me. “No.”

“Oh, where’d you go?”

“Just out for a bit.”

That’s the way it is with someone you know that well. You can tell they’re annoyed even when they don’t say anything, even when there’s not even a hint in their tone. As often as not, it’s what they don’t say. And I hate that. It’s a sort of shorthand, a silent helpful warning not to stumble into an argument, but most of the time I wish I could play dumb to the clues instead. Pretend I don’t know something’s up, ignore her feelings, and carry on like everything’s all fine. Because it should be.

Maybe she’s annoyed that I went out, earlier, without telling her where I was going. Or that I didn’t want to go to the movie with her in the first place. Maybe she’s just been talking about me at dinner before the show, or on the drive home, and whatever complaints came up, they’re fresh in her mind, like something I’ve just done. I’m tired of walking on eggshells, always being on a completely different page from someone I know so well, and am supposed to be so close to. It seems like everyone once in a while she just decides to be mad about something, and it doesn’t matter what, or the timing. She can ignore whatever’s going on in my life, if I might need support, because of the little storm she’s cooked up in her head.

But there’s nothing you can do right in times like these, except go around just a little bit tense, your breath held in, until it passes. And retreat a bit, start to seek understanding, comfort even, elsewhere, which I expect is the exact opposite of what she would want. 

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