Only When Spoken To

The dream became subconscious,
which
had turned into a thought,
then
the thought became a mumble,
and
he mumbled it a lot;
then
the mumble had grown louder
(when
he cleared his throat to speak),
and
the mumbles became words
in
the space of just a week.
But
the words fell on deaf ears,
so
he raised volume and pitch,
and
the shouting got him noticed:
now
the welts rain from a switch.

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Old Ties

So, what does one say when they haven’t written for a while? Well, the same thing I say when I haven’t called for a while. I got a new phone this year, and in the process of transferring over the numbers I decided to make some calls to people I hadn’t talked to in a long while. Part of it was to see if the number was still correct, but in some cases it was to see if we had any reason to talk, if that person wanted me in their life even marginally.

You know what I discovered? People don’t like to be erased, people want to keep their connections going. Everyone I got ahold of said yes, keep my number and stay in touch. Ex-girlfriends, old friends I haven’t hardly kept up with since high school, even a few of the “got your number but never had a first date” ladies, everyone wanted to be remembered, to keep the line open. To be fair, there were a few that rolled to voicemail or were disconnected (and one busy signal? Been ages since I heard a busy signal), so perhaps a few might not have wanted to hear from me. Mostly though, it was an overwhelming “yes, keep my number.”

So, what this tells me is that people are not so apt to “unfriend” you as one might think. People mostly don’t want to sever their connections. I think this might stem from the desire for redemption tempered with nostalgia… or maybe it isn’t that complicated. Maybe people just want to know that they can still connect with a friendly face from their past. Maybe it means people mostly like me.

What does this tell me about myself? Am I afraid of rejection, reaching out to people to reassure myself that I have worth, that I am remembered fondly? Self-assessment is always difficult due to subjective bias. I’ll say this at least: I’m glad the line is still open. In fact, it put me in such a good mood that I was almost dancing through the grocery store singing “Cherry, Cherry” by Neil Diamond under my breath. Why don’t I reconnect with people more often? This has been great. ^_^