Slowly but surely — but really, so slowly I hadn’t even noticed — conversations with Mark are changing, for sure.
I offer up to him the findings of my day — things I saw and felt and thought about — and most of the time, the frivolous things get listened to and sifted through, as usual. But sometimes, something will catch and he’ll have me explain myself in terms very concrete and deliberate that I can’t just swiggle away with the usual swiggles of swishes.
He asks me questions and makes me build that garage in which to park that car. He asks me to make the bricks, sometimes, and then the stuff you put in between bricks, soft and gray, he’ll have me pack that in between.
After it all, I am exhausted, but in like, a productive way. Like I’ve thought something out with some concrete examples and really considered alternatives that make the thoughts more solid and steady-like.
“How can you be sure that…”
“Would you be able to tell just from one conversation that…”
“Do you think other people would see from you that…”
And on and on.
I used to get frustrated and just want to cry, but now I use my lengthy pauses, think about thinking, and give a response that would make sense to him — not one that would just be satisfying to me. I speak slowly and deliberately, less proverbial flailing of the arms going on because I really need to focus all my energies on the thinking. And afterward, I feel weirdly refreshed. And strangely understood. By this creature so different from the way I am. It’s a whole new way of feeling got-ted.