Questions--The Following Day
Tolkien Boy: Usually. I hate it when it doesn't do what I want it to do. But, I always enjoy looking at it, and reviewing what I said, and what I said. I'm kind of an ego freak maybe.
me: No. It's when you're your best self maybe? Sometimes I listen to recordings of what I've played, and I think, "Wow--that's beautiful. I don't think I can ever play in quite the same way again." It's not ego--it's me at my best.
Tolkien Boy: Yeah. It's a strange distillation. It's like me and not-me.
me: For me, it's me without all the distractions, the negative, the sadness. Transcendent?
Tolkien Boy: Interesting, because most of my poetry/best writing is about the sadness and the negative.
Like a queen in an old, sad song, maybe?
me: You take the sadness and the negative and you make something from them. I take those things and put them aside, and for just a moment I feel alive.
Tolkien Boy: May it never end.
me: It will. The truth about all performers...they get old. Someday I won't play anymore. We're having a huge windstorm. Very loud.
Tolkien Boy: I like windstorms. Though I wouldn't want to walk home in one today.
me: Are you leaving?
Tolkien Boy: Eventually. I have a few things to finish up.
me: I'm almost finished with my list of therapy question (fancy that! and I'm still alive). Shall I wait until tomorrow (or indefinitely) to ask the next one?
Tolkien Boy: Do you want to?
me: No. But I want to be done.
Tolkien Boy: Well, perhaps you should forge ahead, then.
me: Aren't you tired of this?
Tolkien Boy: No.
me: I have two more questions for you. I told Therapist that I kissed your cheek when I left you that night. He asked me why, and I said I always give cheek kisses to the people I love the most. I kiss my kids, and my friend C, and Darrin's aunt. Therapist asked me to predict what your thoughts and reactions would have been to that gesture. So I predicted, and he said I was wrong, so now I'm supposed to ask you. What was your reaction? Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, Therapist also said I'm supposed to let you know that if the questions push beyond your comfort level you just have to say so, and no answer is required.
Tolkien Boy: Okay. That doesn't discomfort me, though. I kiss the friends that I love. I felt that your kiss to me was a gift. You showed me that you loved me and held me as a dear friend.
me: Okay, my stress level is becoming unmanageable in conjunction with this assignment so first--thank you for being willing to discuss these things with me, second--thank you for answering the questions. And I'm going to ask the last one now so I don't have to do this again. Last question: Therapist said I have to allow you the opportunity to ask anything you would like to. So, do you have any questions for me?
Tolkien Boy: Do you know how much I love you?
me: I think it must be a lot. Do you know how much it scares me to have people love me?
Tolkien Boy: I think it must be a lot. There is a certain kind of desert frog that only comes out of hibernation once a year, when the rains come. Every other time, it hides. Please don't be that frog. I love you.
me: I love you, too. Tolkien Boy, Therapist said that I've spent my life running from people who would love me, or sabotaging my relationships with them so that they would leave--because I can't live with the unknown, and if they leave, then I know what will happen. I don't think that's true, but I do know I'm afraid of being left alone in a mess--even if the mess is just me. And I feel stupid telling you this. I feel stupid feeling this.
Tolkien Boy: Well, I can't tell you to stop feeling stupid. However, I can tell you that in my eyes, you're not stupid. You're not even close.
me: Well, everything you said, with very few exceptions, Therapist predicted. And I was completely wrong on pretty much every answer. How can I know you, but know so little about you?
Tolkien Boy: Well, when it comes to how you see how I see you, you're naturally going to be a bit...biased?
You know what things make me happy, what things make me sad...the deep fears I have and the high joys I have. What more could you know?
me: I think, because you know so much about me, I assumed you feel the same way about me that I feel about myself. And I don't think I've ever thought about this before.
Tolkien Boy: Strangely enough, for all my cynicism and pessimism, I have a vastly better (and, I argue, more accurate) view of you than you have of yourself.
me: This makes me so tired.
Tolkien Boy: I can see that. Paradigm shifting is exhausting.
me: Do you know how much I love you?
Tolkien Boy: I think so. I have an inkling of it, at least. You kissed me.
me: :) That's true.
Tolkien Boy: How does the poem go? "Jenny kissed me."
me: Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who loves to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.
Yeah, I'm a lesbian...
Tolkien Boy: Or perhaps, redeemed as we all are, by human care?
me: Someday, I hope so.
Tolkien Boy: Make it today.
me: There was nothing I could give you that came close to what you gave me. I know it's not a contest or a trade-off, but I still needed to let you know how important you are to me--"before you sabotaged your friendship and chased him away"--Therapist.
Tolkien Boy: I don't think Samantha does that. Not the Sam I know.
me: I hope not. Therapist is pushing me, I think. It's making me really confused. Maybe I'll tell him it's time to stop.
Tolkien Boy: Perhaps you can ask him why he says the things he does.
me: I will. But I think I know the answer.
Tolkien Boy: What is it?
me: He wants me to stop balking about having lasting relationships with people. He wants me to accept the fact that even if people don't want to be really close, they can still love me. But Tolkien Boy, I don't want lots of sort of friends. I've done that already. It's empty and not really very fun. And you never know where you stand, and it always feels like a very complicated game about which no one took the time to explain the rules. I like having just a few close friends. I'm not explaining this well.
Tolkien Boy: You want real, close friends, not shallow, good-looking friends (so to speak).
me: I want friends who will actually miss me if they go away, because I'll miss them, too. I want friends who love me even if they know the bad things about me, because they know I'm not perfect and I'm not expected to be. I want friends who let me think what I want to, even if they disagree with me--who aren't afraid to say they disagree, but who won't get upset that we think differently. I want friends who don't care about conventions and what other people think, because I'll probably be bucking the system for the rest of my life. I want someone who isn't ashamed to hold me when I'm sad, even if I never ask him/her to.
Tolkien Boy: I think you have a few people like that now, and you can only get more in the years to come.
me: Next time we talk, can we talk about you instead?
Tolkien Boy: Perhaps. But now I'm getting kicked out of the library. So, I'll have to say I love you, and depart.
me: I love you, too. Good night, Tolkien Boy.
Tolkien Boy: Good night, Sam.