Client M2J.5S0R3 - Session 5


(Beep. Music fades in)

You don’t have to convince me that regardless of the circumstances or necessity, the challenges to your reality or what you know reality to be can be hard to accept. That kind of defines my reality, if you think about it. But in so far as this is a choice, I’ll never stop trying to reach out to people, for my own sake. I mean, I hops there’s some value in trying. Peace of mind, I think some people would call it. Not that I think I could ever have peace of mind. It’s just not compatible with my way of life right now. My perspective, you could more accurately say.

Not that you were wondering, but honestly, I feel like I’m stuck gazing down on the cracks of people’s lives. Like I’m looking at the world on the tectonic plate level, if I’m remembering my geology correctly. It’s not so much a matter of the details of our lives. In fact, they may not matter at all, at least not so much. Rather, I’m looking at the surface of this planet, at this thing that list largely conceptualized as a  cohesive whole made up of different slabs or plates that don’t fit against each other properly. You know, they aren’t even tethered down. Not fully, anyway. Instead, they slide about, they bounce off of each other, and when they move, they shake up other worlds. More abstract worlds. Delicate worlds. Worlds that are worth protecting.

Like yours.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

I've come to realize that I can’t convince you that you deserve the romantic love and experiences that everyone else got. Or that you should choose the fire that would keep you warm rather than the one that might consume you, because seizing your happiness isn’t and has never been a crime. It’s never been a sin or something to be condemned.

You’ve never been something or someone to be condemned, ashamed off, hated. None of that. I know that. She knew that. This new woman in your life knows that. But that’s not what the prevailing narrative has been. And therein lies the problem.

Because there’s always something comforting about the status quo, isn’t there? No matter how destructive it may actually be. It’s not just that change can and often does require effort. No matter how appealing that explanation is for it's simplicity, there’s always more going on behind the scenes than that. It’s more like things could always be worse, right? That things could get worse, and then your life could resemble the nightmares you’ve been having. The kind of nightmares that more often seize you when you are awake. Nightmares that you have been taught to have. And that makes them even more possible. At least to some. Like you. Or so you've always thought. And it's easier to think that way than what I would ask you to do.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

But for curiosity's sake,what are your odds if you fought back? I think they would pretty good if you were willing to accept some losses. But getting you to pick up that sword is going to be the hardest part. It’s something you struggle to justify, and in the end, no one can make that choice for you. We can’t act for you. We can only present our case for you to act upon.

I’ve tried. Your past love tried. But that young woman whose presence sends your body alight hasn’t yet. So I offered to do that for her. Honestly, I didn’t know how this was going to work. I just knew we had to try. And boy did she try.

I don’t know how she did it, but she got her message to me. And now I--an oracle of my word--pass it along to you.

Are you listening?

(Extended transition - Music fades out. Beep. New music fades in)

I wish I knew how all of this started because maybe it means I’d know where to start now: what the first thing I needed to say would be. But I swear at some point, I just woke up and realized that I was in love with you. Woke up not in the physical sense but from a trance. The day it hit me, I was walking down the hall and saw you against the floor to ceiling window that the crows normally congregate around. The outline of your body hit me first. In fact, it was all I could see, but still I was so happy. I was just happy to know you were there, that you were present in our office, in my world so to speak.

That's how it had been for a while. After really getting to know you across a couple months, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to know someone like you. Someone as special and warm and kind and just amazing. (Pause). I really wish I knew how all of this started. I wish I knew the moment my life changed forever because it just feels impossible and I stupid for not noticing such a drastic shift in my life. One second not in love with you and the next, very. How does something like that slip by?

Then again,in my defense, it was likely gradual. When you get to know someone, there’s an act of disclosure, the process of revealing aspects of yourself for their approval. And we took those steps with each other like anyone would. And it was with each one of those steps that I started to fall more in love with you. But I didn’t call it love. I thought I just liked that you took the time to greet me every time you were in the office. You did that with everyone, and rather than think I wasn’t special, I thought you were all the more otherworldly for showing such care and attention to everyone. I thought I just liked your smile and how it lights up your whole face because it was aesthetically pleasing not because it showed me what real joy was supposed to look like. I thought I just liked how easy it was to be around you because you seemed to understand me not because you and I seemed too under the world and all its quirks in such similar lights.

I thought it was just nice to have someone like you around. When, in reality, it’s feels like a miracle to be on the same planet as someone like you.

I think I’ve loved you all along in one way or another. I might have been playing dumb, but really, I loved you. I felt in more strongly in the hallway that day. But I’d always felt it. It was the first time it all really came together. One second I was walking to my desk to get ready for another boring day of doing who knows what I’m actually supposed to be doing at my job, and then there you were, flooding my thoughts. I started daydreaming about your smile or the way joy seizes you from head to toe. And then there was your giggle. You don’t laugh that often, but when you do, it makes me so happy. Actually, happy doesn’t seem like the right description. It’s so much more than that. But it’s unlike anything I have a word for or have dreamed off. I…

I love you. It was very unexpected. I thought I knew what love was before you. I thought I had it, but no. Maybe I was lying to myself, maybe I was naive, maybe I didn’t think I could experience love the same way as everyone else did. Which I don’t think is entirely inaccurate. To be more accurate, maybe I didn’t think I was capable of it at all. Full stop.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

Life’s never been easy for me. I don’t say that to you or anyone because that’s not something I want to talk about. Ever. I like ignoring those facts, but it’s true. Life’s never been all that easy not because of circumstances, though that was part of it. Really, I’ve done some stupid things, made a couple or more critical errors, and just got lazy when it mattered most. And then there was that whole not taking my mental health seriously, which was a slippery slope as more balls got dropped and I found more things I needed to do but can’t bring myself to do.

You see it was the sort of thing that really compounded. And now, I’ve failed to meet my own expectations at every twist and turn. And that isn’t to say that I’ve completely fallen flat. My job’s great. I like what I do, but the judgment that comes with it is not. The being talked down to is not. Marketing might be important but not here.

I was supposed to be more than this, and that used to bother me. But then I met you. (Music fades out and new music fades in) And suddenly that didn’t matter. Because if I was that different person, I would have had to lead a very different life. One that led me far away from you. And that doesn’t seem so great anymore.

If this road led me to you, if it led me to your smile, to your warmth, to the knowledge that you exist,  I’m at peace with every broken brick and misstep on that path. Even if we can’t be together. The point has never been to possess you in anyway. Just knowing you, just knowing that someone like you exists on this broken world is enough for me. Enough for me full. The rest of it is open-ended and irrelevant.

I’m content. I’m happy. I’m able to exist in my own skin without shame because I was somehow deemed worthy enough to see some divine secret. In you. And I’m part of a world that made you possible. I’m part of a world that is lit up from your glow. I’m part of a world that has you in it.

(Music fades out and new music fades in)

And that might seem idyllic, but I can’t help but worry that I’m the worst thing that ever happened to you. That I will be the initial complication that starts compounding in your life until you are left a shell of what you thought you would be. And no one wants to be that to the person they love. No one wants to hurt the thing they genuinely love and treasure. I don’t want to be the worst thing that has ever happened to you, but what if I am?

Not that you’ve ever made me think that. Quite the opposite. You trust me. You don’t lower your guard with anyone else but me. I see sides of you that no one else does, and I consider that a divine gift of the highest order.

But then there’s writing on the walls, and I don’t like that. I don’t know much about your family. I hardly know about the divorce that didn’t land well, and that’s because I’m piecing together large swatches of that together from the things you say or don’t say. From the concern in your eyes when things I do for you don’t land right. Or vice versa.

I can see on level that you’re afraid. Of me. And that makes two of us when you keep things on a broad general level. Sure, there’s more nuance to it than that, but it’s not nuance I want to think about. It’s you. I just want to be sure you are okay. I want to do anything I can to protect you. To keep you happy. As you are. For who you are.

Look, things have already fallen where they will for me. Make of that what you will, I guess. I’m still trying to. But what comes next, for me, has already been set. Things for you are different, I know. Or I’ve noticed. You have your choices to make, and I just wanted to let you know that I think you should take the lead on this one. I’ve suffered my losses, and I’m okay with them. The rest of it is up to you.

If you want me to leave, I’ll leave. If you want me to stay, I’ll stay. Happily. Even if it means we aren’t together and that we try to maintain this delicate status quo we have going for ourselves. We aren’t together, but we aren’t apart. I mean… I probably shouldn’t accept that, but it’s more than I’ve ever had.

I won’t ask you for what you aren’t willing to give. I won’t ask you for more than you can give. I need you to stay as you are. As the most beautiful woman in the world. As the woman I love. Warmth, beauty, joy. Life, in the abstract sense.

I don’t know how to love you, I guess is what I’m trying to say. I don’t know how you need me to love you. I do love you, but I don’t know what that means right now. For us. If there is an ”us.” If there could ever be an “us.” Please tell me.

(Music fades out. Beep)