Nov 06 2008

Letter to a Men’s Room Shadow

Published by at 1:00 am under Counseling & Psychotherapy

I wondered when our paths might cross, if ever. Seeing you approaching me in the break room of the workshop, I wondered if you would speak to me, then watched you intently walk by as if you were completely unaware of my presence. I knew that was not true.

When had you seen me I wonder? I sat in the front and got there early, as I needed to be close to compensate for my hearing problem. Perhaps you saw me as you scanned the room, seeing me sitting next to another of our mutual friends, an old Men’s Room guy. I don’t think you could miss me then, so I think you had to be prepared to avoid me, pretend I didn’t exist in your world, though the effort would be extreme to do so. I know you had to be triggered.

A bit later, I headed to the men’s bathroom, thinking “wouldn’t it be interesting if “he” was there and as I walked in our eyes would meet and I would say, “we’re in the mens’ room, meaning Men’s Room, which I knew you would know immediately what I meant. Of course, you weren’t in there and I went about my business. I left opening the first door to the vestibule, and watched, shocked but not surprised, as you appeared in the doorway moving inches away to pass me. I looked intently again at you scanning for some reaction, some acknowledgement of the unresolved conflict in our lives being played out in my honest writing and published publicly for anyone to read.

It was fractions of seconds, you began to pass me, pretending again to not notice me, and I say, “…it’s the Men’s Room.” You don’t miss a beat and say, “Yes, it is.” Your voice resonating with the deepness I remember.

Our eyes meet again, as I turn to find you. I wonder if you are returning my gaze, I smile to at least recognize the chasm between us. I think I must be a small fish, maybe an amoeba in your ocean, somehow illuminated ever so briefly in your mind’s eye.


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