Tuesday, July 19, 2011

letter sixteen


Dear Bartender,

we are a bit more than a week away from the closing date. judging by how we're edgy - toward each other - of late, the pressure may be presenting itself. work has been terrible for me this week. although i didn't mention the particulars, when you snapped at me about signing the sba paperwork, and i shot back that i needed to run before i lost it, i suddenly felt like the bonding we'd felt over the past few weeks, had dispersed. the end of the honeymoon? as i dressed in my running garb, in another room, i talked myself off the ledge. returned to kiss you atop your tv watching head and headed out as you claimed that you liked me all fired up - don't go soft on me. the run helped ease my tension, but we were still nudgy. playful. sarcastic. nudgy still.

then, yesterday, when you said that you had to go to mattapoisett to meet with the insurance agent in the morning, regarding the bar, i felt like i should be there too. i had sets of plans to cancel to do so and as i tried to rework my weekend in mind, you took that as me being mopey. then after much prodding about your thoughts, you unleashed.

i had mentioned turning your old bedroom in your dad's house into a photo studio so i could stop carrying my props and book to and fro every weekend. somehow this combined with my supposed moping caused your angst.

at first, i thought you were refraining from sharing your feelings because you were going to tell me to stop being a dreamer. cut out the blog. the photography. the creative goals. live in the reality that if it hasn't happened now then it's not going to.

that's what i thought your reluctance was about.

instead, you broke out in a tirade about how talented i am and how you admire what i can do and how i don't have any confidence in myself. how i don't push for what i want. how i won't stand up for myself. how i'm the strongest person you know but how i don't use that strength to get what i want.

you silenced me.

you spoke the words i've been needing to hear. sleepless nights for two weeks because i feel stuck in a toxic job and now that you're moving ahead, i wonder how i may as well.

soon, i was teary. you brought up my childhood. your childhood. how both were less than stellar and played on our emotions. often. how you've since let go of the past. that you think i'm still holding on to my own.

perhaps you are right. yet, i explained, it's because of the childhood that i strive to become what i was told i couldn't. i was always told what to study. where to go to school. how to drive. how to answer the phone. all that control had the same effect. self-doubt. depression.

you held me close while i explained why i try so hard and how i feel stuck and not living up to my potential. unsure how to move forward. more education? a better camera?

neither of us had the answers. i'm sure that we should.

even though we've been pushing each others' buttons this week, we somehow came back together stronger. yet again.

its our faith in each other. our adoration. our constant challenging. these are the elements that will carry us through what is about to happen.

i told my boss today about the bar. i was nervous. he asked about the wedding and i said that we had something else to focus on right now. and, you know what? he never asked if we'd be moving or if i'd have to leave. the standard questions that everyone else has uttered. he only wondered if we'd rely on the company for any products. we did talk about the barroom and our initial plans for improvement. and, how i don't think we even know what we're really taking on. and he said, that will come round two months in when you look at each other and say, what have we gotten ourselves into. it was the most honest conversation i've ever had with him though. and, perhaps that's because i finally had something to talk about that proves i have more potential than he gives me credit for. either way, it's been quite an interesting 24 hours. i'm still considering your professions. i want to be my most for you. and for me. maybe if this bar encourages writing, then we'll both reach our respective goals from the same source...

we'll have to work and see.

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