Monday, 28 November 2016

[ tell me what you want to hear ]


This article actually started as something else, in another piece, with another name. Then I did what I usually do - make magical mischief - and there it was, seeding buds in my head already.

***

When I meet someone new, there's always a little part of me that whispers please be as curious as me, please be as weird as me, please be a seeker like me...

I think we all have effects we hope for when we connect with people, and some are flexible and some are not, even if we don't realise it at first. 

A long time ago, after I concluded I knew a lot more than I gave myself credit for, I coined the phrase I have a lot of secrets, but nothing to hide.

I guess what I meant by that, and still mean, is people tell me things, lots and lots of things. And I do things; random things, important things, mundane things. I see things, make things, chase things. And sometimes, more often than imagined, these are things that we don't usually see or talk about. They just are. It's not a boast or being dramatic, it just is what it is. 

Personally, even when the circumstances are less than pleasant, I still consider myself deeply blessed to be where I am. To be considered worthy enough to see people at their best and worst, at their most vulnerable and their most capable; these are truly the treasures that make up my memories.
 
Obviously, this is a double-edged sword; these are not always my stories to tell, even when I'm in them. On the other hand, it's not as if I don't have enough secrets of my own to keep me busy. 

Here's where it gets interesting. A sweet and handsome visitor from my past recently invited me to discuss anything I wanted, any way I wanted, and let the dialogue entirely follow my whim. I don't know if I took that as directly as I could have, or understood it as well as it was meant. I was a little lulled by how comfortable I felt, how much friendly affection I was given without question, and how easy the flow was.

So, to be fair, I don't think it's unreasonable to suspect how I might have opened my mouth with the wrong person and the right words. Or the right person with the wrong words. The universe lets me choose my path as freely as I wish, but it can only put up so many signposts...

***

At a xmas party recently at one of my favourite places in the world - a bookstore - I met someone. Being me, I stalked him around the store in a socially-acceptable fashion, flirting and trying to make myself appealing. Lo and behold, it appeared to have worked! 

Long story short; we hit it off and starting talking endlessly over text and hanging out a little. All the normal(ish) stuff.
 
The first time we were alone together, I told him one of my secrets. I'm not really sure what possessed me to do so, but out it came and there we were. The response was lovely. This particular piece of information a few people know and to a person, everyone has been wonderful. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised; I don't spend a lot of time with people my heart doesn't have faith in, and he certainly didn't give me the impression I couldn't otherwise hope for.
 
My level of trust in people is built around our mutual ability to cope with anything. So I think when I tell you something, I try to make sure it's not more than you can take, or asking more than you are willing to give.
 
The second time we were alone together, I did it again, with something a little bigger, a little older, a little more private.
 
I wondered why on earth I felt the desire to pull out such a revelation; intimate validation? A craving to bear my soul just that little bit more? I knew the rush of connection was there, but not the shared history that usually loosens my tongue. At the time of writing, I still can't quite put my finger on it, but I know the message is coming...

Is a secret still a secret if more than a few people know about it? Does it still hold power if you don't talk about it, or if you do?

This is a little secret buried in a lot of time. There are quite a few (what's quite a few really...?) that know about it, but only a handful who ever speak of it. Intriguing, isn't it; the tease of something that can't be spoken?

The reaction wasn't what I imagined (I can't even fancy what reaction I expected...), which is always the 50/50 chance when you open your chest, as it were.

But I've discovered something I honestly didn't know; it doesn't really matter what the reaction is with something like this is.

To be fair, initially it does. But, in the end, it's more about why you've said it, than what you've said. Savvy?

***

Let's rip the blinders off, shall we; the other people who know this secret are varied. Some believe it to be true, and others a figment of my exceptionally overactive imagination. 

Some pay no mind to it at all, and some reference it in everyday life, as naturally as the colour of my hair or the way I take my coffee.

All of these people treat me exactly the same; the same love, the same respect, the deep and abiding surety of knowing we have each others' backs. And a little secret changes not the fundamental nature of my being. 

***

It's strange to tell someone new an old secret. You forget the impact it has, the way their opinion of it floods your mind and makes you relive it all over again. For anyone who has ever got a tattoo, even a small one, you know exactly the feeling I'm trying to describe; nothing prepares you for the needle against your skin, the starbursts of sensation that rush you. 

And the very nature of the material - a secret - recalls to you a certain sense of privacy, a hidden factor not exposed outside of a limited circle. 

It's terrifying and it's intoxicating and it's really, really hard to replicate. Even if you wanted to. Maybe that's why we tell our secrets to others; holding it in is like caging something wild. All it wants to do is get out.

***

So here I am, with an old secret retold to a new character and my soul a little exposed. And you know what? It feels amazing.

Did I tell the wrong person? The man from my past got confused with the man from my present, and my energy felt something similar, so my mouth opened? Who knows...

I don't think Mr Intellect believes me. He is a man of science and his head rules his being; there must be a reason for everything. You cannot convince a tiger of being a spaceship, because there is no point of reference they would understand. Which is both conflictingly wonderful and frustrating.

Yet, it doesn't matter. The words were spoken, and cannot be unheard. And in that moment, I knew a freedom I didn't know I craved; to be seen again. To be seen and known and to feel special. 

Stranger still, I did. In the disbelief, or more fairly, the tolerance of an unusual secret spoken aloud, I felt like myself. I felt special.

Wherever it came from, I found that sometimes the truth really will set you free. And in order to keep feeling this way, keep feeling special, it's almost like I want people to just tell me what they want to hear...

Because I'm almost willing to start giving some of my secrets away. Almost.


~*LTM*~








































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