You Don’t Say

… or, I don’t, at least. Often.

Readers of this and the other blog may have noticed, on occasion, that posts will appear briefly, then disappear. This is a phenomenon I’ve observed with other people’s blogs as well, indicating what might be called “posting regret”. This is where the writer decides, upon further review, “no, I didn’t really want to post that.”

In my case, in virtually every instance, the deleted post is (a) angry; (b) about me; or (c) both. I’m not afraid of expressing anger, but, typically, rereading these, I think “there’s a better way to get that point across” or “no one is going to know what I was getting at, there”.

Like most authors, I want readers to feel, or to think, upon reading; unlike some authors, however, I do not really seek controversy (some amount is unavoidable). Fights don’t change minds, they just bruise bodies and spirits.

Understanding often comes, though, in less dramatic and more unexpected ways…

I went to lunch with a female coworker a few days ago.

She’s brilliant, in her mid-thirties, and we’ve been friends now for something like seven years. She’s also very beautiful: stylish, elegant. Born and raised in eastern Europe, and separated from the land and family of her birth, I’ve probably become something like a second father for her.

After we each ordered our meals, I asked her how things were going at home.

“Not great. We’ve agreed to … co-parent. [They have three children.] He’s a great father. When I get home, dinner is on the table. I get to spend all my time with the kids when I’m there.”

“Do you avoid him?”

“Yes, pretty much. I avoid him, and I avoid thinking. When we were on vacation during the holidays, and there would be moments of downtime, I read books. I read five books in a week. I can’t have time to think, or bad things would happen.”

I didn’t ask her what ‘bad things’ she meant; I thought I probably knew.  The only thing lonelier than being alone is being with someone you can’t connect with.

It had warmed up a little by lunchtime, so we walked in the tiny park behind the restaurant.

“What about you?” she asked. “This job has been killing you this last year.”

“Yes, it looks like they are going to move me.”

“What have you been doing for stress?”

“I work out, and… I write, as it happens.”

“I did not know that. What do you write a book, a blog, what?”

“A blog. I don’t really talk about it at work. Or anywhere else, come to think of it.”

As we entered the building where we both work, we stopped before going our separate ways.

“Thanks for driving to lunch.”

“And thank you for inviting me. It’s good to get out.”

“It’s nice to get a chance to catch up.”

“Yes, and it’s nice to have someone listen.”

“Even to what we don’t say,” I added.

“Especially to what we don’t say,” she rejoined.

Author: Sibelius Russell

Sibelius Russell (a/k/a/ Owen "Beleaguered" Servant) lives a life of whimsical servitude -- whatever that means.

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