It’s In Your Eyes

I was talking to a friend of mine via text message Saturday night Sunday morning around 2 AM.  They were telling me that they had a pretty long week that required lots of work and little sleep and that they were annoyed by their personal and professional circumstances.  They said they were about to head out and blow off some steam.  My response was confirming that they should do so.  In my head I thought “What is blowing steam?” in a confused manner because the idea of having an outlet to do so is foreign in my life.  The last time I did so was a botched night I was supposed to hang out with someone that didn’t fall through at the last minute due to a lack of communication.  Instead of company to vent to or just not be a parent for a night, I found myself walking around from Midtown to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, having a drink somewhere random, and a climatic end being that I pulled a man in a broken wheelchair backwards from Bellvue Hospital on 26th and 1st to McDonald’s a few blocks away all while he smoked a cigarette that blew all in my face and then asked for money (I gave him eight bucks and told him to get an extra value meal).  That night cost me an afternoon of negotiation and bribery of a fifty dollar gift to my sister to watch Cydney that night.  Was I mad? Nah.  I got out and I helped some guy who needed it.

A few hours after the conversation with my friend it was time to get ready for church.  I’ve been making an effort to go more than once a month (Three out of four weeks!) because whose spirit doesn’t need to be poured into.  It’s not a big church, so everyone knows everyone there and that’s nice sometimes.  With that said, a good portion of the congregation says hello in passing while leaving or heads to fellowship hall for brunch after service.  I’m asked all the time how am I doing with a long gaze into my eyes.  I’ve been told I look like a tired parent and some would say to themselves without saying it to me that it looks like my wits end may be coming sooner than later.  I can’t even lie to them, I say “Yeah, that’s exactly what it is.”  With a smile back the response is a pat on the back or shoulder and some kind of reassuring “It’ll get better, Chad” look on their face.  I appreciate that.  Truth be told, I was at my wits end that day.  I felt very short and was trying my best to not go off when Cydney would fall out terrible-twos style or my nephew wanted my attention and there was a glazed look on my face that insinuates I was zoning out.

I’ve learned to recognize that something in my life is problematic when others can see it in my eyes.  I do believe that they are the window to one’s soul.  I don’t like to look people in them for too long without looking away for a quick moment because I see too much into people and there may be things I don’t want to see.  My demeanor is pretty [frustrating so some] nonchalant and stoic.  Most of my emotional expression come from giving very brief looks in which those who have caught me in one moment are amused or respond accordingly to the look that was conveyed.  I’ve learned to mask my innermost thoughts to the point that it is hard to tell what I’m thinking or feeling.  It frustrated the hell out of Timile that she couldn’t pinpoint my thoughts and she lived with me for almost five years.  That’s how I know the look of concern on others’ face is real because I’m too tired to notice or care that people can see I’m close to checking out.

Sometimes I think Cydney notices this.  She’ll give me a look, rub my back, and give me a big hug.  I think deep down she knows that all she can do is take and my patience gets worn pretty thin.  She tries the best she can and sometimes randomly says “I’m sorry” (which makes me feel like shit) thinking it’ll make me feel a little better.  Actually it does.

As far as blowing off steam goes, I have a birthday next week so I’m sure I’ll be re-acquainted with that concept within the next ten days or so.

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