Again I was lying in bed, trying to sleep. My mind was roaming around a lil bit, over the hills of the past. I remembered that time we were pretending you were a genie. Do you remember that?
I can’t recall why we were pretending that. Maybe because I said you looked like a genie in a photo. We were talking on the phone.
“You have three wishes,” you told me.
“Hmm, what do I most want.” For some reason, I told you the truth. “What I really want is…I want you to love me in a way that’s special for me,” I said.
“Your wish is my command,” you said immediately, as if with no consideration to the request.
“I want to be your friend always,” I said.
“Your wish is my command,” you said.
“I really only need two wishes,” I admitted, which you accepted.
It was a weird experience, just a few seconds of fanciful conversation. And did it mean anything?
“Are you ok?” my spouse asked.
“Yeah,” I said, crying.
“You’re sad,” he said.
“It’s ok to be sad,” I said.
I told my spouse the genie story, and he said it was a fantasy. My spouse said I wanted it to be true, but it was not true.
“Well, that’s the thing,” I said. “It could be true, or not. I wish he could have told me he loved me in a way special to me, outside of a pretend genie scenario.”
Maybe you were happy to say what I wanted to hear, as a pretend genie, and it was your deep truth, wearing a veil of joke. Jokes are best when they express deep truths! Or maybe you were 100% messing around, and forgot about it half an hour later.
I finally am used to the fact that you’re not going to be at the meeting. It’s no longer about you at all. Before, your presence there meant so much to me.
I was raving at my spouse about that also. “You know what I hate about myself?” I asked him. I explained that it meant everything to me, whether you were there. Will you show up–how late will you be this time?
I drove myself crazy, with how much what you did mattered to me. I still hate that about myself! Why couldn’t you just do whatever you were going to do? My emotional state partly depended on your behavior in a way that was really uncomfortable. It was horrible, to feel jerked around.
Probably that was not so great for you either. “How could I get myself to care less, about what he did? I cared so much! How do you destroy care?” I asked my spouse, demanding.
Originally, I thought being honest was the key. Many times, I tried to share my truths with you vulnerably, and I was proud of myself for that. I thought it was feelings being driven underground, that made them sickening. But that honesty method only worked in the beginning. It takes two two do honesty, really. You were not so gifted.
I’m grateful I learned what it feels like, to love the joker. Feels different and strange. I loved the playfulness, even though it’s still confusing me, from this distance.
I’m grateful you held me safely, sometimes. Those moments happened, when you prayed for me, or I felt really heard. I’ll always be glad for that.
I’m grateful I tried being real and there for you, with all my heart. I can’t say I half-assed any of our relationship. No need to second-guess myself; I tried every which way, to make it work.
I’m grateful I heard you brother’s radio show, and your dad’s, saw pics of your mom’s sheep, and learned the names of your sisters, who I will never meet. Your art taught me a lot I’m still trying to comprehend. The thoughts about domestic violence are still needling me, as I work on what it means, for the lost child to finally love the addict.
What if you really did love me in a way special for me, and if you’ll always be my friend? I allow myself to consider that.
Maybe you’re my friend still right now, in a magical way that we don’t need to speak. Probably that’s a stupid notion. But I was willing to pretend you’re a genie, so maybe I’m good at stupid.