February 20, 2006

31: Catastrophe

I made the decision to talk to Jack. I was looking for reassurance. I wanted him to know that I was a mess, temporarily, but I was really okay. I had the sense that perhaps this was a mistake, but when I am overwhelmingly tired and emotional, and begin to feel that something must be done, I am compelled to do it and have a hard time thinking it through.

I waited on the lawn for him to finish breakfast, my eyes still streaming as I sat on a green plastic chair under a tent and tried not to make eye contact with anyone, shakily drinking my cappucino. Who knows what I looked like. As I walked through Wycliffe, people sort of stared like there was something funny about me. For myself, I felt like I hadn’t entirely made it into the real world that day, and I couldn’t help it, and couldn’t do anything about what other people thought about it.

Who knows what Jack was expecting. Certainly not me in the state he found me in. I told him that the last couple days had been intense, that I wasn’t sleeping well, that I was feeling emotional and couldn’t process things, that if I laid low today that was why.

He said, “Wow, I don’t really know what to do with that.”

I laughed through tears, “Yeah, most guys don’t.”

And as I began to sense that assurance would not come, he said, “I’m glad you said something, because I’ve been thinking, we need to make sure we’re getting everything we’re supposed to out of this week, meeting everyone we’re supposed to meet. It probably would be good if we didn’t spend so much time together.”

Buck up little camper, I thought. Of course, I agreed, it would be good to not spend so much time together, not sit together all the time, take a step back. But inside I felt the full weight of the blow. I thought I had given him reason to think I was a bit crazy. And I was.

I imagined him discussing this with the other guys, all of them wondering at my instability, and longed to hang out with a girlfriend who could help me put it all right again, at least in my head.

I got a sandwich from down the street and ate lunch by myself, on the library steps. I made plans to go to dinner with someone else and felt skittish and insecure all afternoon.


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