“Yeh it’s the smoke & mirrors thing. I’ve experienced those kind of people for so, so long I don’t think I know any other way. Just how folks operate really, but I can’t relate to it at all.”

She sat silently listening. She didn’t react nor looked like she planned to anytime soon. It was almost as if she was just absorbing it all, taking it in, playing the words over and over in her mind. It seemed she was waiting for more.

I don’t know why but no matter.

“Well lately for as long as I remember I’ve had to deal with people like that. People withholding things in their dark places, behind their walls, twisting things up in their minds to the point they’ve been unable to just be open and accepting. Not necessarily of me mind you, just open about life in general. People who make assumptions about me too, like there are things they’d like to say to me or to ask me, but don’t.

They hold it between us.

People who have been hurt for so long and so badly and feel the only way to get by is to get one over on the man. Or feel the man is always looking to get one over on them. They can’t speak their own truth. They’ve got all sorts of beliefs about what life means and how it’s supposed to be lived, which are totally out of sync with mine. You never know where you stand with them and they don’t either. I’m exhausted just trying to see through the smoke. It’s too difficult.

She looked up at me, questions in her eyes. She was thinking fight or flight; whether to speak out or not. Her body language screamed caution and discomfort and uncertainty.

I may have said enough.

“Well it’s really nothing that important, at least not to most. When people can’t say what they mean it just gets on my nerves that’s all. Don’t let it affect who you and I are. I wouldn’t want that to happen.”

She stood up and walked into the kitchen. She ran some water and threw some of it in her face, pulling a paper towel off the dispenser on the counter to dry herself off.

“It’s the smoke & mirrors part. Just give me time.”


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