When things change, as they often will, it is imperative to keep cool and analyze the change before freaking out.
I’ve heard it said that ignorance is bliss, and I can’t speak to that directly, but I have first-hand knowledge that paying attention to details is a real motherfucker. It’s hard to be happy while being aware of how hot dogs are made, and why people smile when they meet someone the first time, once a person studies just a bit the secrets that nobody wants to know come tumbling out, and encounters become exercises in control…
Will I be able to act like I don’t know what’s happening? Should I?
As a child it was a matter of self-protection, when my mother was in a bad mood it was good to know before she spoke, before she came near, it was a good idea to steer clear of the frustration about to be released on the heads, shoulders, knees and toes of the little ones, she used to say she was put on this earth to be a mother, and I learned at a very young age not to argue with her, no matter how badly I wanted to, no matter how sound my argument.
My first girlfriend, I remember her eyes, I remember the way she looked at me the first time we met. I also remember noticing the day when she pulled away too fast, the day she looked away when I saw her, I knew she was breaking up with me two days before it happened, so when it happened, I was already crying when she told me that she didn’t want to hurt me, but it was too late and I never spoke to her again, I never saw her again.
I could hear it in my sister’s voice when she called to tell me that our grandmother was dead, passed, gone so fast, I could hear it in her voice when she said hello on the phone but it shook me to the bones and I made her say the words, I had to be sure I heard because life is here and then it’s gone for the ones that die, but nobody ever tells you, I don’t know why nobody ever told me that they would die every single day as long as I’m here, that each person I love would forever be wrapped in my fear because death doesn’t care who’s precious to me, death doesn’t ask who I’d like to lose, which one I’d choose, it’s not ever discussed in family settings.
Life is change, and that’s impossible to deny, life will change and change and you can go with the changes and try to keep up or get left behind.
When I notice the difference between yesterday and today, you can tell me I’ve imagined it, but I haven’t. I was watching you then and I’m watching now, I have the notes in my mind of what has happened behind, the back story is not a secret to me. I saw how it happened. I felt it and I feel the changes in you, and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t, because I’m not eight years old, and you’re not my mother holding a plastic coat hanger or a spatula, you’re not my fourteen-year-old girlfriend, you’re not dead. We’re here, right now, and I can feel you changing. I’m not telling you not to change, I’m only letting you know that I won’t stand silently, waiting for you to tell me the bad news. I know the bad news. It’s written in my heart.