I wouldn’t blame myself for being taciturn but I rarely pick up the phone when it rings, sometimes I leave it on silent so that I’m not aware of it ringing, I’m not guilty, I’m free.
At times I do the same with texts, see the preview of it and leave it at that. Get rid of the notification, even if it is from a certain someone that I love. Then tell them that I’ve been out and that I’ll call as soon as I can. (When I’m ready to?)
It’s not that I want to ignore the person because I can’t. I wouldn’t label myself as an ignorant person, for the most part. And it’s not that I don’t want to talk to them either. It’s not as if I’m too busy to talk to them yet I’m hesitant to get into a conversation.
I might be an introverted extrovert, reluctant and self-centred. I might make other people suffer with my mood swings. And they do suffer as a multitude of texts reach them when I’m happy, late night prank calls and my uncontrollable laughter helps me gain an image of an evil mortal. Though at other times when I’m over my head, I simply can’t bring myself to connect with anyone. The world outside of my own seems unbearable. Heavy. Almost wishing I didn’t have to talk to anyone at all, explain myself or ping them up with the bullshit I make up in my head.
It’s a strange contradiction, a two sided story, an irony, a misunderstanding. Where I may not want to bother someone when I’m down, the other person might get offended. Where I just can’t seem to explain to them how nothing is wrong but how everything is. Where I’m afraid I’ll be asked to get over it when I’m just not ready. Where I can’t bring myself to be involved in someone else’s happiness, the achievements they’re telling me about, I almost feel unworthy and unmerited for such tête-à-tête.
Most of the times it’s me spending an inordinate amount of time being alone, spending more time in taking a bath than usual, cancelling the incipient plans and those dinner dates just so I could be alone and watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Go to the coffee shop alone, with just a book in hand, never feeling the need to invite a friend. Ignoring the first knock at the door and timorously hoping there isn’t a second knock. On seeing an acquaintance in a crowd I turn around to change my direction, just so I could avoid small talk. It makes me sick now that I acknowledge how cowardly and self-centred I am. But I’ve unwholesomely gotten used to it, thinking of time as a precious commodity that I’ll ever own. So here I am, avoiding the outpour of emotions from a different being other than me, avoiding the misunderstandings, avoiding the heartaches, avoiding the 20 questions, avoiding the awkward silence between conversations, avoiding the unfriendliness, avoiding the tension of whether they like me or not, avoiding the hate and avoiding the loss.
I do close my eyes for a minute when my phone illuminates with a new text, a call or an invitation. There’s a risk I don’t take. There’re the messages I don’t choose to read. I simply wait for the screen to darken. I play it safe. I play it dumb.
But then I open my eyes, thinking why someone would ever want to talk with me, share with me, their sorrows and happiness, their achievements and failures. And the way they’d laugh with me on the silliest things. Thinking why I’d over think such an innocent connection to ever exist. And when at times I’m downhearted, a text from them is the only thing which lifts up my soul. Makes me crack up and shake my head at how utterly insane they are and how utterly lucky I’m to have them in my life. And when I talk with them, I never want the conversations to end. And how stumbling upon them in a coffee shop turned out to be the best thing to have happened to me that day.
I do worry though, about the transience of what exists in form and shape, scared of referring to someone as somebody that I used to know, scared of the everlasting connection, scared of the memories, scared of love so I’m always seeking for a forever in the brevity of a moment. (How selfish, yet again.) And at 2 A.M, more awake than asleep, the question lingers in my mind – Is it worth the risk? I guess I’ll know with time, as I disclose my feelings, feel the frown turn upside down as my phone illuminates and feel the smoothness of the screen upon my fingers as I reply. Feel the warmth radiated from the phone as I talk to them. Feel guiltless when my phone goes untouched for days and ecstatic when I still find them at the other end of the phone. For those people, I surely think it’s worth the risk.