Knowing What I Know

Yesterday I had tea with a new friend who told me that the big difference in his life these days is that he is letting himself know what he knows.

And then tonight, I was walking with my sweetheart down the sidewalk, fretting. Fretting and fretting about this problem I’m trying to solve at work. “Do you want to talk about it?” he said. “You know I do this shit for a living.” He grinned his wicked grin and looked at me. “I bet I can fix it.”

I haven’t shared this part of my life with him much. We are only a month in. (Okay, 34 days, but who is counting?) But I’m running circles in my mind tonight, hardly able to be present with him, us, with now. We are walking up to the pub for dinner. I suggested a walk because we are stealing a few hours while we both don’t have our kids and I want to be here.

And walking always helps.

So we are walking, climbing really, straight up the hill to the main drag in my little neighborhood. The sky is pearly gray and the yellow porch lights are beginning to show. The night is cold but fine. All around, the plum trees are holding out their petals, which are so much more knowingly pink than the cherries, which are impatiently waiting their turn.

We reach the avenue at the top of the hill. “Which way?” he says. And I point and we top another rise and the glowing lights and people of my little urban village are spread out before us.

That’s when he turns and he asks me. “Do you want to talk about it?”

No, I don’t want to fucking talk about it! I want to forget about it! I want to be here on this beautiful night with you and stop fucking worrying about it!! Leave me alone!!

Fretting makes me snarky.

But not stupid. At least, not as much as it once did. So I take a breath instead of speaking.

Clearly, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to. But I’m against partitions. And anyway, it’s not working, is it now? Plus, this is important to me, and he is important to me... So I do. I start talking about how I am trying to solve this puzzle and I don’t want to overcomplicate it. I know what’s needed…But…Hmm… Actually, I think I’ve been trying to force a fit… And if I just…

We are passing shop windows, but I don’t see them. I am looking up and to the right and inside my own mind because there is a…okay, this isn’t very witchy, but there is, like, a venn diagram in my head, overlapping circles: Here is what is needed. Here is what I can do. It feels like the opposite of fretting. Here is what I know.

 I take a breath. Smile. Exhale. Look around.

“Sounds like you’ve got it to me,” he says. Then that grin again. “See? I told you I could fix it.”