Sunday, October 18, 2009

people talk to me

(one more honeyboy shot by mr from yesterday)

I do not go to Mass to make myself "better." I go because, in the dimmest reaches of my scattered, angst-ridden mind, there is something that wants me to get down on my knees and, in spite of my own suffering and all the suffering around me, give thanks. I go because I am beginning to believe that heaven is not in some other world, but shot through the broken world in which we live.

~ Heather King ~
from her essay "Heaven and Earth"

...and I don't mean dead people. Well, maybe they do, too.

I am talking about live ones.

You may not know that I am an introvert. I can do extrovert. I can turn on the juice and interact. Since I've been sick, though, relating to people on that level requires more energy than I want to afford to spend. So I measure my interactions and choose carefully--hopefully, wisely.

Still...people talk to me.

1 ~ I am in the locker room, putting my clothes in a locker. She comes in and says hello as if she is expecting to meet me here. I ask, "Am I in your way?" "No. No hurry." I finish and as I turn to go to the hot tub, she says, "I'll be right in," as if we are together and I will be waiting for her.

We're not. I'm not.

She comes in and talks. "Why don't you come in for a swim?" (I've already been in the pool and am sitting in the hot tub.) She tells me about her week of baking, canning, and quilt making--to help her friend with a project at the friend's church--being off work because of her back pain. Her physiotherapist wants her to swim. He will be pleased that she has been in the pool six times since she last saw him.

And she talks some more.

I start to get out to meet SO for lunch. "Will you be back? I'm not sure I will be here again this week so I might not see you again."

2 ~ Several times in this and my previous visit to Victoria I passed a jewelry store and admire the custom work. Today I find time to go there during their open hours. I walk through the door and the owner starts talking to me. I am looking through the book of designs. She tells me they do custom work and can do whatever I want. Am I a ring, bracelet, or necklace person? (Ring.) "But you're not wearing any...." (My fingers are sausages today and I can't force my rings on without soap. Not a good way to begin the day.) Oh, hers are a little swollen, too. It must be the change in weather. She and her partner (who also owns the gallery next door) have had the shop for 34 years. They manage even though it is small. She has been married 34 years and is making her ninth wedding ring for herself. She gets tired of the rings after a while and--well, the relationships change, too. Her husband is used to it by now.

And she goes on until I can ask for a business card and leave.

3 ~ SO and I are in the hotel bar-restaurant for lunch. She is there by herself. The servers call her by name--a regular. Our lunch doesn't come for a long time. She starts talking to me. "You look just like a friend of mine that I haven't seen for a long time." (Everywhere I go, I look like someone a local knows.) "She's a sweet girl--so gentle. I got an invitation to the wedding. I don't know if I responded or not. I didn't go to the wedding. I haven't heard from her since. I need to look her up. I called her father." I say nothing and smile to be gracious. I look away, waiting for her to see that I am no longer listening and am engaging SO in conversation. She keeps talking. I look at her again and smile. "You even have the same teeth." (I have a gap in the front. Apparently her friend does, too.) And she goes on.

Eventually, she starts to leave. Our waiter comes with our food...finally--after a half hour or more. She waits for him to finish with she can talk some more. And then she leaves, wishing us a good stay.

I don't start it.

I don't invite it.

I don't understand it.

They just talk.

To me.

I hope they get something they are needing.

I hope it is good for them.


Susan O'Neil said...

It's your aura. We feel safe with you. So then we talk.

Susan O'Neil said...

OH, and when did those beautiful kitties get so BIG! They are so cute (said in a very high pitched squeaky voice).

Wanda said...

They double in size every day!

SO agrees with you.

Anonymous said...

i loved this post. i like your style of writing.

Joan said...

I loved this post, too. Susan is right...we feel safe with you. You are a good listener and don't judge. Maybe it is because of your profession, or maybe you chose your profession because of it. Don't feel annoyed--you are sharing a gift with those of us who talk. Thank you, thithter!