Sometimes I find myself sharing bits of my story with people who don't know me just to get a reaction out of them. Just to show them that the shit they thought...can be shattered in an instant with the truth.
You can't hide and you shouldn't want to. Who you are is who you are and...if you can't live solidly within your truth...then hell...you're just hurting yourself to get along and make someone else feel comfortable with YOUR truth.
I love to dress nice. I do. I swear I do. And I love it even more when my hair is nice and my brows are done and I'm rocking the hottest shoes imaginable for that fit. I love that. I love when people look at me from head-to-toe and decide who I am - based on that image they have. Right then and there. Pretty girl. Tall. Slim. "Perfectly toned butt." (Inside joke.) Nice smile. Cool laugh. All the trappings of one who is not afraid of much.
But their reasoning is all wrong.
You can't hide what you intend.
I love conversations which start out with smiles BEFORE the head-to-toe. Those people are in the moment and not stuck inside of their head. They are looking for something.
They just don't know it.
And they sit next to the pretty, slim woman with the infectious laugh and they listen to the phone conversation when her husband calls her to see if she got where she was going safely. They listen and smile softly as she says..."I love you too. I'll call you when I get in my truck."
Because she's safe...protected.
Cuz she's pretty. And slim. And has a great smile. And an awesome laugh. And she hugged you instead of shaking your hand.
"How long have you been married?"
"Do you like being married?"
"I love being married to my husband. He's a pretty awesome guy."
"I love your shoes."
And the questions start based purely on the knowledge they have that the clothes and shoes and bag and bling aren't cheap. They want to know more about the charmed life. They want to soak it all up. To figure out a way to have that life. That marriage. That...shiny something which comes with a person who can wear all white without a spot on them.
Cuz that's difficult to do.
Or...it's difficult to see.
If that's not what you're trying to see.
I can't help it if what you see...is what you think you know.
And I get a text from my Godson which makes me raise an eyebrow and I call him and get him back on track regarding my expectation of his reality.
"How old is your son?"
"I don't have children. That was my Godson."
"You didn't want children?"
"I wanted them very badly. Still do."
Not knowing what to say.
I ease the struggle. "My husband and I tried for many years to no avail. God didn't want us to be parents that way so we're not."
"I have a girlfriend who couldn't have kids. She took it hard."
"We all do. Do you have babies?"
"Yes. One. A son. He's 6."
"He sounds perfect. Do you have any pictures?"
And they whip out their phone and smile. Flipping through pictures and telling the log-line of each. And I smile. Genuinely because...well...this ain't been no crystal stair. I've been here before. I know what makes you comfortable and how to get you up off me. To get you to take a step back and notice the pin tip of a stain on the arm of my tunic that the cleaner couldn't get out no matter how hard they tried.
Or notice that the grosgrain on the collar is limp on one side.
Because well...I didn't feel like fucking with it so I didn't.
THE MORE IT BACKFIRES.
"Are you from here?"
"No. I moved here years ago. I needed to get away so I did."
"Yes. Away. From life. I needed to breathe without it catching in my throat and choking the life out of me. I needed to be able to inhale and exhale."
And that's when you notice the eyes behind the designer shades. The way I smile but the smile didn't necessarily reach my eyes as I told you my truth even as you still see the pretty woman, slim, dressed nice, hot bag, hot shoes.
And you quiet yourself for a minute because there is so much you want to ask but you don't want to appear rude even as you want to know. You want to know. You want to know.
"My father killed my mother and then himself many, many years ago and it did some things to me which will never be able to be repaired no matter how much I do, go, see, accomplish. No matter who loves me now. I'm sorry...I'm in a mood. I don't know where it came from."
"I didn't know my father." As she tucked her feet deeper under the bench.
"Unfortunately, that's not unusual."
"He wanted to know me. But my mom...she wouldn't let him. I didn't know."
"That sounds challenging."
"Do you speak with him now?"
"No. He died."
THE MORE IT BACKFIRES.
And I notice her nails or rather...the lack of her nails. Chewed off. Nubby. Chipped polish.
It didn't match the shoes, the bag, the perfect break on her trousers. The flow of the silk blouse.
"All daddies ain't good daddies you know."
"Neither are all mamas."
I leaned over and hugged her.
We both stood up unwilling to say more.
And we both smoothed our fit and fixed our face.
Exit stage left.
I walked the half block to where I was going and the image ahead got closer and closer.
A couple, putting their baby in the stroller perfectly in sync.
He got out the stroller.
She got out the baby.
She strapped the baby in.
He held the stroller.
She grabbed her purse.
He already had the diaper bag.
Her shoes were flip flops.
His were boat shoes. Sperry. Old and worn.
The mother looked at me...from head-to-toe.
They put on their sunglasses and rolled out.
I continued on.
As I always do.
Not for who I am.
But for who THEY think I must be.
Silly questions piss me off. If you want to know some shit...sit back and LISTEN.
People generally tell you exactly who they are if you get out of your own head long enough to HEAR.THEM.
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