Tuesday, February 5, 2008

'The Man' Tales - What Does One Say?

My mouth fell open at my mother’s statement of complete and total rejection by my father. In my head I replayed my caring help at his bedside the night before and wondered what was so wrong about it. Should I have stood at the end of the bed while he feebly fumbled for the Kleenex – almost choking to death?

I turned my face to the wall and resumed my work, unwilling to show my mother how deeply hurt I was. The salesladies who had been in the backroom had suddenly found work to do out in the showroom and had sidled past me, unable to look at me. I found myself clenching my teeth together in an effort not to cry and I refused to run to the bathroom in case my mother thought I was.

At the end of the day I was free to go home instead of to the hospital. Without the anguish of a sick father to distract me, I logged on to the internet and went in search of my favorite chat room. Michael Bolton’s voice filled the confines of my bedroom as the conversations reflected off my eyes. With my nephew still at his grandfather’s bedside, I had the house to myself and I cranked the volume and sang along, tears of anguish streaming down my face. Yak sidled up to me and asked me for a dance and I whirled out onto the dance floor in an effort to stomp my father’s horrible words into the ground.

As Yak and I danced and chatted, a new name flashed on the screen. I watched the newcomer out of the corner of my eye and I only managed one small silly comment to one of his before he left. Yak noticed my interest and immediately stepped up his attentions, but he was taken and I knew it.

The next night the stranger appeared again and I watched him as he sat quietly in a corner. His comments were few and far between, but they still caught my eye and I attempted to draw him into a conversation. His answers seemed almost flippant, or like he was brushing me off, and that incensed me. This continued for the rest of the week and in the real world Yak sent me flowers. In the real world my mother had also taken time away from the business to look after her husband and I was relieved of listening to accounts of his health. I didn’t want to know, and I didn’t want to care.

I spent my days waiting to get back to the chat room. I was antsy and annoyed at the daily grind and my friends started saying I spent too much time on something that wasn’t real. I disagreed loud and long, saying that maybe the chat room didn’t exist in ‘reality’, but the people in it were real. They argued that they all assumed ‘personalities’ – they didn’t give their real names. I argued the assumed names meant nothing and that everyone was a real person. My friends pointed out that Yak was in the chat room as a single man and I just waved that away. It didn’t matter to me any more. His flirting was just flirting now and we had become friends.

They couldn’t understand it at all. To me it was a place where no one knew my background. No one knew my family. I could only be judged by the words I typed. Here I could dance with a stranger and not be physically abused. I felt welcomed and part of a crowd that didn’t judge. Maybe some were not who they said they were – but I didn’t care. There were people in there that I never spoke to and some I knew I would never be interested in. But there were a few who cheerily called my name when Ani made her entrance. And it made me feel like I was a part of a ‘family’. So unlike my real life.


The Rotten Correspondent said...

Is it really so surprising that you would gravitate to a place where you were accepted for who you are? After everything you had been through?

Even if it wasn't "real"?

aims said...

RC - almost sounds like blogging doesn't it?

Breezy said...

Aims I can't believe how you hung in there with your family after all they'd put you through

travelling, but not in love said...

Sometimes, living a parallel life, in a parallel universe can be such a great thing.

When I was just 20 I left home for two years and went traveling. My travels took me far and wide, literally to the other end of the earth. Everywhere I went, I was the real me - and I was certainly not the person that my family had decided I was.

When I finally made it back 'home' I realised that I had not only discovered the real me, but I had also found the strength to live up to all that being this person entailed.

I've never looked back.

Stew said...

Hello aims. I've come visiting after seeing your comment on Travelling's blog. I reckon anyone who takes to Travelling hqs got good senses.
I've read your last 4 posts. Crikey!

Do you share your families religious beliefs? Or just not to the same degree? I confess I am ex-born again, now atheist. Life is hard enough without having to deal with God as well.

coloursofdawn said...

I think it is natural to go to places where you are accepted for who you are. It is sad you couldn't find that with your family. I agree, it sounds a little like blogging. I think people do it for different reasons and blogging and chat rooms serve each in their own way.

Stinking Billy said...

One of your best, aims. Tell me, are you the teaser in real life that you appear to be in your story?

But your mother is/was? something else. I wouldn't want to know her.

aims said...

Breezy - I was always looking for love - no matter how many times I was denied it.

TBNIL - How I wish I had made that move myself. I had often wished to 'escape' by traveling - but was always swayed by the chance of 'love'....and I paid for it - dearly.

Stew - Welcome! I've seen you and your pitchfork around the blogs I visit - nice to see you here. I am definitely not a 'bible thumper' as my brother and I refer to the rest of the family. I keep whatever beliefs I have deep down inside - for me. Not to use them to wail on others with. Hope you come back - all related stories are under the 'truth' label.

Dawn - There is certainly a big difference between chat rooms and blogging - at least that chat room anyway. However - The Man was the one who said I might find blogging of interest - and I guess he should have known better...

Billy - Now Billy! If I give that away....as for Mom - well - that is another story yet.

Lane said...

I'm still reeling from your mum. But I still want to know more about why she was like that.

aims said...

Lane - I never figured it out. Perhaps she was just being 'the other half' of my father. I don't know.