I’m always explaining myself. C. points this out, though not in those words – “expressing” is how he says it. I explain: no one can tolerate the amount of communication I’ll generate on any subject at all, so I blog. I like to explain. Blogging provides the not-altogether-fictional incentive that someone is listening.
It’s not that I need more friends, only that I’m trying not to max out the tolerance of the friends I have. I think what I loved about dating (once upon a time) was the first and second dates – the ones where you tell each other about yourselves, and make up sensible reconstructions of your past lives for the entertainment of another. Preferences, opinions, victories and heartaches – real or somewhat inventive – the manifestos of existence. As honest as you dare to be, with the understanding that reciprocity is not guaranteed – that was always a big thrill for me. A big risk. I’m not actually a divulger, but with time I’ll tell you everything, provided you’re paying close enough attention to realize it’s happening. I try not to reveal myself often, in spite of this impulse-control problem I have with self-expression. I genuinely struggle against a daily desire to emote all over the place, to trail around after the people I love and pester the daylights out of them. It’s a part of me that looks like weakness – the hyperbolic urge to connect.
My body language is such that people frequently know what I’m up to. “What?!” they’ll say, in response to some look on my face, some posture. Ah! Trapped. Betrayed.
It’s ridiculous, I know. Why all the effort to conceal? Why the elaborate rules of engagement? Well, I know why, and I’ll tell you, because I don’t know for sure if you’re listening anyway and I like to explain. It’s the age-old fear of rejection – that’s all it is. The more I like you, love you, the less inclined I am to be straight with you – because however slight your rejection of my gesture or statement, I’ll take it way too seriously, and worry about it, and probably make some lunatic apology where none is remotely called for, given the opportunity. Hugely insecure, in other words. Desperate to please.
And because that’s a part of me I dislike intensely, I get all stupid about the simplest exchange. It’s better if I just don’t talk. Really.