i hope you don’t mind… well… um… i’m kind of wondering if you could do me a favor. And feel free to say “no.” It’s OK. I know you have a lot on your plate right now. i’m sure i can find another option.
actually, now i can’t even remember what i was going to ask of you. oh wait… i’ve got it now. i’m wondering if there’s any possibility for you to kind of act as my guide. something in between a spiritual guide and, i guess, a navigational guide, of sorts.
like i was thinking about you a lot this week. especially when my flight from Boston to Beijing made a stop in Chicago. And like this automatic impulse just kind of took hold of me and for some reason i can’t quite fathom now, i got off the plane in Chicago. i de-planed. like i totally totally de-planed. why do i keep doing things like that? over and over. have i no self-control?
that’s when i began to think, well, gosh. this is the kind of situation where i could use some help. but i wasn’t sure who to ask. and then i thought of you.
no, i’m not expecting you to be this “voice of reason.” that’s the voice that keeps getting me into trouble. that’s like the voice that’s drowning out all of the other voices, which is really unkind and unfair.
i certainly don’t want to put you in any uncomfortable kind of position. i don’t want this to be awkward for either of us. but i was thinking… well i think it would be great if you could be there every once in a while as kind of a reminder for me to see the big picture.
like if you could have tapped me on the shoulder as i was leaving the plane to tell me “So, Lost Pedestrian, if you get off the plane now, i’m just concerned that you won’t ever be able to figure out how to get back on, and then you might feel more lost than ever, which i don’t think is good for you right now. i’m just concerned about that. i hope you don’t mind my telling you that. i think you’re just kind of vulnerable right now. ”
and then, if I said something like “well, i kind of think people are expecting me here, and i don’t want anyone to feel hurt or disappointed if i don’t show up,” you might be there to tell me, “look, Lost Pedestrian. nobody really cares if you’re here or there. but it’s not like they don’t care. i think everybody just assumes you’re doing what you need to do to be happy. everybody. so i wouldn’t let that interfere with your desires.”
“i don’t really know that to say,” I might respond. and i would look into your eyes and you would not blink and this would make me uncomfortable. and i would gaze down at my toes. And then i’d look up and sigh something like “anyway… ”
And then you gently touch my back and guide me back to my seat. and you’d stay there with me for all 13 hours of the flight and you’d help me flag a taxi to take me to my hotel.
Then i’d take a long shower. and once i dried myself off i would wonder how could i possibly have arrived here without you. i’d try to come up with some way to thank you. a bottle of wine wouldn’t seem quite enough, but you know, i don’t really know your taste in books or music.
and then you would say, “hey. don’t worry about it. some day i’ll be asking the same of you.”