Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Open doors.

You weren’t nice to me. Your words were scathing and mean—the kind designed to cut straight down to the bloodless white meat. Though I’d told myself over and over again that it wasn’t really about me, how could I be sure? You weren’t an angry patient pounding a fist on the tray table when denied Percocet. You were a learner.

A learner.

We had things in common. Undeniable things. That made this blow land harder on my jaw. And, what’s worse, is that I didn’t even see it coming so it came like a ruthless sucker punch.


I told myself that I’d tried my best. That your approval doesn’t matter. Me trying is what mattered. But on that day I was forced to admit it. It does. Of course it does. Especially from the ones like you.

Like us.

I told a colleague friend about what you said. I was honest about how it felt and admitted that it hurt. Together we unpacked it all and I looked inward for what, if any of it, was true.

“Even if a person isn’t happy, there is a way to express it,” my friend said. “This isn’t it. This feels like something else.”

“Yeah.” That was all I could say.

“No matter what, I say keep the door open. Don’t lash out. You can only control you. Make it known that you are always a phone call away. Even after all that, you are. You have to be.”

“Do I?”

“I think so.”

After that, I sent a message your way keeping the door open like she said. I chose kindness. And you? You chose radio silence.


That was a while ago. Time has passed. New learners have come along and both of us have moved on. Fortunately, we won’t have to interact again. So given that, mostly I pushed the memory away. And I suspect from the indifference I perceived that you never even had to push it anywhere.


But funny how life is with our paths. Just when you think something is behind you, Life LOLs and shows you otherwise. And the older I get, the more I wonder if anything is really ever behind anyone.


Today a silhouette was coming my way and, from a distance, I couldn’t tell it was you. But by the way you slowed your feet, I could see you knew it was me. As you got closer, you stopped and just sort of stared.

“Hey you.” I broke the ice with something neutral. “You doing okay?” I smiled. And it wasn’t even forced.

At first your face appeared pensive. But then it softened with relief.

“Hey, Dr. M,” you replied quietly. And then you let out this tired sigh. Your shoulders sagged..
We talked a bit. I gave you a hug. You hugged me back. And it was good. It was.

See, we have things in common. Undeniable things. And because of those things, i know how hard it can be to navigate all of this as who you are. As who we are. So very hard sometimes.

I know.

“Call me, okay?” That’s what I said.
“I will,” you say back. “For real, I will.”

This time you hug me. I hug you back.

Control you, she said. I’m so glad I did.

This time especially.


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"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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