my favorite part of living with chad is talking in bed. right before we drift off to sleep, we have little things to say, little moments of today we forgot to mention, little mentions of moments we hope to have tomorrow. oftentimes i will blurt things out in the hugging darkness that i wasn’t aware of before they became worded. last night was one of these times, when i started talking about being accepted, liked, invited by my coworkers. how amazing this change is, the one that has taken place over the past year, because i remember how miserable i was when i tried to make everyone happy all of the time, neglecting my own happiness, that ugly martyr complex that shouts, “i care nothing for myself, and all for you,” and whispers, “i am so wonderful that i can handle this, and any, problem with the ease and grace of a thousand jesuses.”
and now? i like being liked, don’t get me wrong. but what i said last night in bed stands truer now than ever: i am willing to be less liked, not liked, disliked even, if it means finding out who i am and what makes me happy. my self, my happiness has to be part – not all but part – of the picture now. and that is a remarkable, good change.
i sensed chad drift off to sleep, leaving me alone beside him, with always that residual worry – if i should die before i wake – but a slightly less-tangled sense of self followed along into dreaming.
Talking in Bed
Talking in bed ought to be easiest, Lying together there goes back so far, An emblem of two people being honest.
Yet more and more time passes silently. Outside, the wind’s incomplete unrest Builds and disperses clouds about the sky,
And dark towns heap up on the horizon. None of this cares for us. Nothing shows why At this unique distance from isolation
It becomes still more difficult to find Words at once true and kind, Or not untrue and not unkind.
– Philip Larkin (1922-1985)