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The Talk


Oh god, the talk. You know the one. The one that makes your stomach drop into your sneakers, leak out the holes meant for your shoelaces, and start digging its way to Bolivia. Or maybe your stomach doesn't do that because you have a healthy relationship with communication. I DON'T KNOW. WE'D HAVE TO TALK ABOUT COMMUNICATION FOR ME TO KNOW THAT ABOUT YOU AND - AS JUST ESTABLISHED - I DON'T DO "TALKING." OR "COMMUNICATION."

I do believe that talking things out is healthy. I do believe that having difficult conversations and emerging alive can strengthen a bond. I do believe it's good to know where everyone stands so you can move forward fully informed.

Sadly, I don't know how to integrate any of this into my actual life, the one I actually live. As opposed to the one I just think about a lot.

In my experience, Talking tends to end badly. So I cope by repressing until it's physically impossible to corral all my thoughts and feelings into one head. So my angst starts encroaching on the mental space of those around me until some poor, unsuspecting 56-year-old married man standing next to me on the street corner waiting for the light to change is baffled by his sudden concern about what a 32-year-old computer programmer thinks about him.

For the good of innocent bystanders everywhere and my own desire to be a healthy adult with good relationships, I'm learning to forge new pathways in my brain. Pathways where Talking = Healthy Relationships. Instead of Talking = Harbinger of Doom.

So far, I've managed Talking = Four Minutes of Profound Discomfort That End Relatively Well, All Things Considered.