kelowna, british columbia. september 2008.
this is why we need other people in our lives:
i was opening up the restaurant and talking to jason, our manager. he’s always a pretty interesting cat to talk to. as i was filling the candles with oil one by one, i mentioned something about regular life doing a number on me. how schedules and routine start agitating my innards…and how i never know what to do about that. i just, blugh, i don’t know.
he asked, “what’s your sign?” (we work at the libra room…it comes up in conversation)
i said, “gemini.” (though that’s the extent to which i know anything about signs. for me, horoscopes fall under the same umbrella as tarot cards and tabloids and lady gaga: all straight bullshit)
but then he yells out from the liquor closet, “ah, you’re conflicted.”
i laughed under my breathe and said, “dude. you have no idea. you have no idea.”
i googled it. first sentence of the gemini description?
“Gemini, the sign of the twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory.”
my cradle was loaded with heavy company before i even knew where my elbows were. great.
i still don’t get the fuss about horoscopes, and i’m not about to subscribe, but it was an interesting little bit of conversation. nobody had ever so accurately described me as such, as conflicted. conflicted. conflicted…wow, conflicted.
talking on the phone with my friend jenna. i was walking through how i was feeling about a week ago, about life and swapping it and ideas and moving and changing…and all this stuff. i must have paused, in need of the right word to fit all these thoughts into, when she so matter-of-factly said,
you feel claustraphobic.”
God is handing out notes behind my back to anyone i talk to.
because i said back to her, “ya dude…shit, ya. that’s exactly how i felt.”
and i did. i felt similar to someone who had a fat man sitting on their chest, shortening their breathe, or somebody watching the water rise on their overturned dingy. claustrophobic.
and the thing is, when i look around and no one else is panicking or jumping ship or looking at you with the same wide-eyed expression, i feel alone. i feel really, really alone.
and it’s as though i have a monopoly on conflict.
it’s me, sitting on a street corner, trying to drink a cup of coffee, but unable to because my hands are wrestling with this stupid conflict beast that forgot the stupid rules to stupid musical chairs.
that’s exactly how i feel about that.
but it’s not all bad. ha, that’s the thing. conflict is a continual license to suss it out. to examine your life and look for truth and sift the falsities. i wouldn’t give that up for anything. i would never want to be one of those dolts who walks around shaking hands all shallow and numb.
but man, to not feel alone. to not feel like i’m the only one who is conflicted and gets claustraphobic and …
it’s a weird thing to be so grateful for how God made you, but at the same time wonder if you’ll ever stop flicking post-it notes up to heaven with the word “WHY?” on them.