I participated in a May Day rally on Monday; it was fantastic! The people, the energy, the solidarity, hours of being active outside, getting to practice public speaking (by introducing someone, nothing major), connecting with some of my Green Party friends and other activists, … (very briefly) hanging out with Ron, Carl, and Mo all at the same time …
Yeah. I thought Mo was gone. But suddenly he was walking toward me, arms outstretched, a giant smile. It was like seeing a ghost. I was so happy to see him! I gave him a warm hug; I asked him about his recent experiences, how long he’s gonna be around, if he wants to get together …
He and Carl were both kind of there but not there. They each seemed more interested in talking to other people. I keep telling myself it wasn’t really the place to try to connect with anyone on a meaningful level – I myself was bouncing from one person or small group to the next. But I had some great conversations with people, friends and acquaintances – maybe I was able to appreciate those interactions more because I was focusing on what was, not what I would’ve liked? I don’t know.
Well, it was good to at least smile, say “hi,” and hug them. I think the feeling was mutual.
Ron and I continued hanging out after everyone else had left. Ze taught me how to throw a football, emphasizing that it’s about feel, not brute force. I approached it like a meditation: feeling the movements of my body, putting my intention into every muscle. My best throws were made with eyes closed.
I’m not an athlete; I’m not interested in sports – but I’m fascinated by Ron’s perspective and the way ze teaches me. I feel like we’re connecting on a deeper level than just the questions and the feedback and the act of tossing a ball back and forth. We’re coming from places of difference to a space we can share. Ze is sharing parts of zirself with me.
Then we had this conversation:
Ron: “Do you want to sit down for a while before I have to drive?”
Ron: sits down “I need to relax, it’s been a long day.”
Me: sitting down “Oh, were you doing that thing where you want to do something, but you ask me if I want to do it – instead of just saying let’s do this?”
Ron: “No! Not more direct communication! You’re supposed to read my mind!”
Me: “No, I’m not doing that. I had to try and read people’s minds for most of my life and it fucked me up.”
Ron: “I’m sorry, it’s just that you get me in ways no one else can.”
Me: “You feel like I get you?”
Me: smiles and blushes, feeling warm and fuzzy inside
Let’s just pause for a second and appreciate that I told someone I love, out loud, that I’m not going to try and read their mind.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure to what extent I feel like Ron gets me. I think I’ve been putting more of my energy into understanding zir. I feel like we have a great connection. We can express so much to each other through a simple touch or moment of eye contact. I love spending time with zir – doing pretty much anything. We can talk about everything. I’m continuously overwhelmed by how nice ze is to me … does that mean ze gets me?
I try to use direct communication whenever possible, even (especially) when it feels incredibly awkward. It frees me to say what I need to say. I can trust that others will tell me what they want or need, so I don’t have to constantly monitor their moods. And I actually get what I fucking need.
It’s wonderful … but it’s also a lot of work. I’ll admit, I’d like for someone to just get me sometimes. Like maybe we can do that for each other 10% of the time, and the rest of the time we use direct communication. If it’s important we use direct communication. Is that fair?