Client C1A.84 - Session 2


(Beep. Music fades in)

You know, they say life is full of surprises. Cliched, yes, but that might actually be a good thing right now. Let it be repeated constantly to because it's what you feel like you need to hear right now. Maybe there is some absolution therein for you, you think. Personally, I’d say that absolution is the wrong word in this case because you didn’t do anything wrong, but you know what? That’s not up to me. You’ve levied this accusation against yourself, and now we're at the corresponding hearing. You dictate the proceedings of this hearing. And if that is the word you think we need to be using, then fine. I'll use it. Reluctantly.

But as your oracle, I’m here with you. I’m here to help you, starting wherever you happen to be.

By the way, it’s okay that you just compared my approach with theirs. That’s to be expected, I think. After all, they’re often on your mind, aren't they?

But look, your friends mean well, but lying to you about how he was is only going to make you feel worse. Yes, I agree with you on that. They’re doing the same thing he is but with better intentions, And they use those intentions to justify it. which is how they justify it. But intentions and effects are two different things.

Honestly, I’m not going to be completely innocent of this. While self-awareness might help my odds, I won’t pretend that my actions in this moment won’t negatively impact you. The chance will always be there. It would be far too presumptuous for me to think otherwise..

But I don’t think lying to you to combat his or their lies is going to help you.  Because you need to know where you are before you can figure out where to go. And you can’t find where you are if you don’t know where you have been or how you got here. That’s how it works. After all, life’s a journey, isn’t it? That’s what your sister always says as she digs herself deeper into her already awe-inspiring amount of credit card debt.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

Yeah, I know this is a pretty serious moment in your life, but I need to say this. Your sister is insufferable. I mean, yes, I’m only catching glimpses of her, but still, that’s too much for me. And you aren’t anything like her which only compounds my confusion. How is it possible that the two of you are related? I don’t understand. I genuinely don’t understand. And I genuinely don’t understand how you can put up with her. Or why you still do. (Music fades out and new music fades in) You guys are both adults now; you can elect to have some distance between the two of you, no matter the reasoning, and you have several good reasons.

But no, your parents would never allow that, right? They want their children to be close, and they are quick to say it. They are also quick to tell everyone that this desire has been fulfilled largely because of their efforts--that they have always been able to keep the affairs of their household in so-called perfect order.

Yes, they do talk too much, and they don’t explicitly say what they mean half the time. It’s annoying, to be sure, but they are managing to get their point across to the intended audience.

You know what I mean, don’t you? It’s alarming just how easy double talk really is to speak. It raises a lot of questions. How can you ever be sure people are hearing what you mean? And how can you be sure you hear what they mean?

The answer is surprisingly simple. It’s never an accident. It’s a different albeit similar language. Or the speaker will make it obvious. But, you know what, the vehicle is part of the message. Or at least, it’s a critical part in achieving a certain end, as it were.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

But now you’re concerned. Was he that way? Back then, did he do these things? No, nothing of your current state could have been seen in that beginning. Back when he was sweet and charming. All those things he said to you and the thoughts behind them were genuine. That’s fairly obvious from what I’ve seen.

It’s the details that I’m having a harder time with. There’s so many that I don’t have that piecing them together a full picture is outright impossible. But I’m not dismayed. Details are important, yes. Facts are important, also yes. But those things aren’t the same thing.

And I’m confusing you now, aren’t I? Admittedly I’m a few shades away from confusing myself too.

But do you remember the story of Thucydides and his account of the Peloponnesian war? Or do you remember one of the supposed controversies surrounding it? More like critique, really. I don’t see any scholars getting too up in arms about it because beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to historical accounts about that era. But that’s neither here nor there.

You might not remember or you might not remember the parts I want you too. So let me just say, the story goes that sometimes Thucydides would change the details, usually the contents of speeches to reflect not what happened or what was said, but what Thucydides thought it should have been, relative to whatever his larger themes of the story were at the time . Or even relative to the tale he wanted to tell.

It is a questionable practice in some regards, but his work is clearly valuable. It has endured. And it made us understand.

With that in mind, I have a story I want to tell you. But to do that, I need you to give me the same luxury. Can you? Will you let me tell you a tale even if I don’t get all the details right? Would you listen, knowing I’m wrong about a few things? Or should I say, are you listening?

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

Almost a decade ago, there were two college freshmen amongst of sea of other first year students who would all have their own adventures and couple up in numerous ways. But I’m not being told many of those stories. I’m only being told that of a sweet-natured though shy young woman with hair that fluctuates between blonde and brunette.

He saw her in business calculus. Not because of fate or because either of them wanted to be there. It wasn’t like that at all. Business calculus was a required course for the both of them and for all students seeking out a business-esque degree. And there were many of them.

Each class then had to be rather large. Two hundred students at least, usually more.

That particular class was more. A lot more, in fact. And everyone in it was therefore crammed into the university's largest lecture hall, but still despite the enormity of that space, there were never any seats to spare.

So in some ways it was inevitable that they would end up in the same space with her only a few rows ahead of him. And yet the actual moment of their convergence happened with a fair bit of convenience. For example, it happened on a day when her curls were most lively and unkempt, held together by a cloth hair tie so worn and loose that at the right age it looked almost like an old fashioned ribbon. More than that, it made her look like the (quote) “modern version of a long begotten dream.”

Not a great description, but that's how he phrased it in his mind. It was his way of explaining just how it was possible that he could feel the way he did, how such an intense emotion could seize him in little more than a moment.

You see, he did think it was love despite five minutes before not believing love was a thing, writing it off as a mere biological function because he heard an older kid do it when he was fourteen. This sudden shift left him scrambling for words.

A lifetime of nothing, he thought. And then her.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

Now let's ignore that this so-called “lifetime” was only eighteen years. After all, he did. He wasn't inclined to give that crucial fact even an ounce of thought. Rather, he was just focused on being in love with her. Whatever that meant.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

The young man wasn't sure what to do at first. He wasn't sure how to approach her. That's the hardest part about falling in love with a stranger. You do it, almost accidentally. but then you are left guessing about what should come next.

It would take time, obviously. Whatever “it” was. Or one would think it would take time. Correction many people would think.

But as I said, this young man was hardly thinking. He couldn't. The pounding in his chest was too hard. It was so intense that he wasn't sure how he was able to still breathe. He knew he was still breathing. Technically. It was just a technicality that he felt largely irrelevant. He wasn't sure how long he would keep breathing, and that was the important part. Without trust in that fundamental mechanism, it was easy for him to be swallowed up by fear and his rational thought eroded by sheer panic, leaving him little more than a robotic husk with one objective.

And so he watched her. For a while. He thought it was a while. Really, it was just one class session. But maybe his diligence gave those few moments more weight than some would be inclined to give them.

He watched as she craned her neck to see the board, eyes desperately scanning for hints or a hidden message she didn’t catch at first glance. She was so sure she was missing something that she kept looking for wasn’t there. No, it wasn’t certainty. It was a desperate hope. When she didn’t find it, she threw her hands into her curls in frustration, entangling hair and flesh which combined to create a wave. Not a strong one, just one that was able to knock the pseudo-ribbon to the floor.

And his heart sank. Though the young man was a few seats back, he wanted to leap up and retrieve it for her. Even if it was only so that she could have it and remain that vision of beauty in a world that needed it.

Excuse me. Those words didn't fit right in my mouth. I need to say that.. They are his. Not mine.

But he was far enough away to make his plan logistically impossible. Regardless, the young woman with hair that fluctuates between blonde and brunette had a friend beside her who thought to retrieve the hair tie as an attempt to maintain an illusion of control.

It was appreciated by the vision. “Thank you,” the vision whispered. Then she confessed, “I don't know if I can do this. This class is killing me.”

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

The friend tried to comfort her, but the young man did not bother to give those words any mind or immortalize them in his memory. He had heard enough. Or rather he assumed he had heard enough.

Because that was enough to give him some sort of plan. This was his way in, he thought. Yes, he could have asked her about the pins on her bag, the novel she was carrying or the hoodie she always wore. The one that had her favorite band’s new album on the chest. She wore every day she was able to.

But he didn't think about any of that. He saw the weakness and thought this was how he could break through. It was an ice breaker. Though what the wall of ice is actually supposed to represent is up in the air. Was it a barrier between them? Was she entrapped in ice? Or did he not see that the structure he was beating into was in fact her.

Maybe it was an innocent sort of ice breaker, and I am being needlessly dramatic, but I know how this story will go up until the ending that has not been written yet. And knowing all of these twists and turns, I wonder how much time and tears could have been spared if he had made a different choice.

But I don't know, do I? And neither do you.

Intention is not effect, remember. Just hold onto that thought for now. We can do this in stages if that is easier for me. And I will always be here for you.

If you will have me.

(Music fades out. Beep)