Thursday, September 29, 2011

Understanding in a Rainstorm

"I want to know what it feels like to be understood." She said, maybe only to herself, as his steady hands held the wheel and rain washed down the windshield in thick rivers of falling water.
She liked the rain.
The way all the colors outside looked deeper and richer with the violent sun turned down to a muted grey, and the sky turning from heather to charcoal to black.
The thunder and the lightning excited her.
Woke up her insides and made her want to talk and kiss and get lost in a reckless abandon with someone who was crazy about her.
Who would follow her anywhere, even on her restless thunder driven adventure, just to be close to her and her ever turning sea.
"You don't think I understand you?" He asked innocently, as if the answer wouldn't bother him, but she knew him well enough to know that her statement alone had already bothered him.
Anything she said now wouldn't make a difference.
She could reassure him that she knew he did, but then have to explain why she would say she wanted to know what it was like to feel understood, as if no one did, and no one must include him because he was someone.
Or she could say that sometimes she felt like maybe he didn't, and he would pretend he understood, and say something about how people are hard to understand, but she would know it made him feel sensitive
and a little hurt
because he would go on to tell her how he tried to understand her
how he cared
how he did his best.
But she knew enough by now to know that understanding a person has nothing to do with good intentions
or love
or how hard you try.
It seemed to her that when you understand someone completely, it comes naturally. 
Like it's a gift you have, and have always had, and were waiting to meet that person so you could finally use it.
Everyone understands someone, she thought.
Some people understand a lot of other people.
But you can't make yourself understand a person.
You can know them.
You can accept them.
You can give them your love and your kindness and your unwavering devoted acceptance all you wanted.
That's what friends do when they love their friend but don't quite get them
That's what parents do when their child turns out to be something other than what they planned for.
But no matter how much you learn, or what you accept, or how much you love, 
Understanding of another complex and intricate human being either exists, or it does not.
She felt lonely as she sat beside him wondering what to say.
She knew no matter what her answer was it would come out all wrong, and she would never be able to take this moment back.
She settled further back in her seat and watched the rain
Feeling the cold seep inside her chest as she thought to herself that there was one undeniable fact in this world:
Alone is, and always will be, the difference between being accepted and being understood.

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