She sat there, with her journal opened, hoping something would flow out of her nimble unsure fingers onto that empty, glaring white page.
She used to be so good at expressing her thoughts on paper. But, lately nothing has been able to flow. An extreme disconnect.
How could it be that being surrounded by all of her friends, all of her coworkers, and all of her extended family, that she could feel so alone inside.
Her loneliness was palpable. She even experienced bouts of grief as if there was a sharp loss of sorts. Then she realized she was mourning a loss. It was a loss of self; a part of her that was not being taken care of, a part that was not being entertained.
She knew exactly what it was too. It was lack of intimacy. Something she hasn’t had in quite some time. A deep meaningful touch of a dear friend, a long lingering hug where it is the other person that does not want to let go, a coworker to look in her eyes and actually want the answer to that proverbial question we all automatically ask when passing, “Hi! How are you?”
She sat there feeling flawed. As if she was not made well to fit on this earth. She felt like a square peg trying so hard to fit herself into that round hole.
So many questions – Who am I? Do I matter? Does any of this matter? Why do I feel so alone? Why do I feel so emotionally clumsy? Will anybody ever understand or even want to unwrap me to see who I am, in my entirety? My stories, my experiences, do they count for anything at all?
She looked up from her journal page and just stared. She felt as if she was in a coma state of staring lately. Looking so serene and peaceful, all the while her mind is waging a war it has not been able to win as of late.
Frozen in a state of deep thought, she realized she needed to snap out of it and try to put on that mask of, “I am ok”, and assimilate back into the hustle and bustle of getting things done; those menial life errands.
The Farmer’s Market was on her ‘To Do’ list, so she decided to get that done. She felt it pointless as she has even lost the zest for creating and cooking meals lately. But in order to survive, one must eat. So she went.
She perused the outdoor aisles of brightly colored displays of produce and artistic goods. In the distance she heard flute music playing. Musicians were always there to share their life’s passion and sell their latest CD. She always appreciated the energy coming from these outdoor markets. It made her feel alive. She could actually feel a small smile on her face as she witnessed an Italian family that ran a produce booth, bicker back and forth about who knows what, as it was all spoken in deep Italian.
She always had an immense admiration how people could squabble back and forth and stay through it all. She has never experienced that. She came from a family that didn’t communicate their feelings well, it was swept under the rug. She always struggled with that mindset. It is not her style to argue to get her point across, or yell to feel heard, but nonetheless she had a great gratitude towards it. She even smiled at the Italian family that was still entrenched in their diabolical disagreement – so expressive… so alive.
She had given up in the relationship department for over a year now. It was all too fleeting at this time in her life. She loved that she never feared being alone or that she never ‘needed’ to be with somebody just for the sake of being with another. Her quest for finding true intimacy was no longer a path she wanted to travel at this time. She was tired of playing the game of dating that never went anywhere. It was always the same outcome, just different faces.
Tomatoes were next on her list, her mental list anyway. As she strolled towards the tomato stand, she felt an energy shift; something light, something that almost whispered for her attention. She looked around – right to left, left to right… saw nothing.
She then felt a small tap on her right shoulder. She darted around quickly as it took her by surprise.
There stood a man she was very familiar with. She embarrassingly forgot his name due to being caught off guard. She usually just referred to him to her friends as the ‘apothecary guy’, as she bragged to all of them about his products. He was the one that owned the Apothecary booth. She loved that booth and always saved it for last, as she was a product junkie for anything that actually proved to be of good quality. She also enjoyed chatting with him when she’d purchase his things. She loved to ask questions, and he never seemed to mind… whether it was regarding his product line or even his life. He always answered with no delay, no walls.
“Hey! I have new things for you to try, I think you are going to love them! My best work yet, amazing products!” He declared enthusiastically.
“I’ll be sure to come by after I pick up the remaining things on my list.” Claire responded.
“Nope, my booth is unmanned and at GREAT risk for me to lose all my life’s work and products due to me walking with you!” He said very exaggeratedly.
“Then I recommend you go back to manning your booth.” She said lightheartedly, with a bit of fun loving sarcasm.
“Nope, staying with you until you finish perusing and purchasing all you are here for. What you fail to know about me is that I am in dire need for a new experience. So seeing and living your exact experience, here, today is precisely what I want to be doing at this very moment.” He said confidently and so matter of fact.
“You sure are laying it on thick.” Claire retorted back with a roll of the eyes and a smile. She never minded a bit of flirting and this interaction seemed harmless enough, even a bit fun.
“What you are failing to understand is that I want to see through the eyes of you, if only for a moment – nobody else, just you.” He said with a different tone, this time more tender.
“Well, you are in luck, I have always been up for new things and not afraid of adventure. Although, I must warn you… for you are now entering the mind of Claire – all I can say is hold on tight, because it’s going to be a crazy ride.” She said with humor, regarding the mind thread she’s been on lately.
He declared as he grabbed her hand at the same time, “GREAT! I’m not afraid… Let’s do this!”
Claire smiled. Paul! His name is Paul… she remembered to herself. Sunday seems to have just gotten a bit more interesting.