I think I make them nervous with my big feels and half the time they don't even know what to do with me.
That's what I think. And slowly they'll approach, one at a time, as if I am a wild animal they think they can tame or perhaps a mental patient they feel they may be able to reason with, before realizing the folly of their way, retreating to the circle once more, the safety of their numbers.
It would be funny but it's sad.
Big feels aren't a strength and they're certainly nothing to be afraid of. They're a decided obvious flaw, an utter lack of dignity, a proof that any vestige of self-control has been stripped away and you now stand for all to see and judge without your skin, thick or thin. It no longer exists and everyone can see right through you.
Now, I've never been a liar. I've never been one to hedge or hold a poker face. I could run and I could steal but god forbid I got caught. God forbid you ever asked me a direct question in your lives, I would unload my entire conscience at your feet for you to pick through and disseminate. It's ridiculous and I envy people who can lie through their teeth, deceive and trick and pretend and cheat and fake their way through life seemingly without a second thought. It's a gift and payback comes eventually but in the meantime it must be nice.
I'll stand here while the wind sears my uncovered muscle and bone and bear it well.
Better? Loch asks roughly. He knew the salt would hurt. He's one of those people. An easy, seasoned liar who does whatever he's ever had to do to stay on the right side of a moment.
Yes. It's gotta hurt. That's how I work. What do I do now?
What do you mean?
Maybe you should send Sam down. I need to talk. The tears start again. Make them stop. Jesus Christ. I've got no ghosts and nowhere to hide and suddenly he's being stubborn just when I need him the most.
Talk to me.
I would but you're not listening. You're busy being right all the time. Busy saying you told me so.
I'm busy trying to keep you safe.
This isn't safe, Loch.
Why isn't it?
I can get to myself.
Nevermind. Just tell me what I do now.
Let me entertain you.
I looked up abruptly and he's smiling at me. It's not a big smile but it's there. The joke is so old between us it must have been covered with a layer of dust so thick it would have been virtually unrecognizable but he found it and hauled it out, cleaning it off, offering it up like a life preserver as I drowned in my own tears.
And I took it.