me: i hate it when you change the subject. it makes me feel like i can’t talk to you.
him: why can’t u just keep talking?
me: because i can’t. it’s not how conversations go.
him: i don’t know when something u say is important. i wait for u to continue and when u don’t, i assume ur done talking about it.
me: it makes me think ur not interested so you’ve moved on.
him: u didn’t tell me that’s how u felt last night. u just let me go on, and you had said you’d tell me.
me: i can’t tell you every time. that’s not how it works.
him: oh, but you said you would, no?
me: yeah, but i was wrong. i just don’t think i can do that. i can’t ask you to care if you don’t.
him: but i do. last night, i didn’t realize what you said was a problem and you wanted to keep talking about it.
me: well, i couldn’t keep talking about it, because you didn’t follow up.
him: ok, let’s talk about it right now.
me: it’s too late now — i mean, we can talk about it later, but right now, i don’t care about it. i want to figure this out.
SILENCE. MUSIC PLAYS IN THE 32ND FLOOR APARTMENT AS THE SUN MELLOWS OVER MANHATTAN OUTSIDE THE WINDOWS.
him: i feel like i don’t know u, because u don’t tell me.
me: what do you mean?
him: well, a lot of the times, you’re so quiet. and when i ask you questions, you sometimes give me short answers, and then i feel like you don’t want to talk about it, so i try to change the subject to distract you.
me: did i talk more when we were friends?
me: well, it was different then. i didn’t have any expectations. i didn’t think as much.
him: what was it like with ur exes?
me: it was fine. with art, i talked all the time and still do, because he makes me talk. he engages with what i’m saying, asks me questions. you don’t.
him: oh, come on…
me: ok, well, what was it like with ur ex?
him: believe it or not, i was the quiet one. she talked all the time. when she had something to say, she just told me.
me: well, im not like that. maybe because i’m 24. maybe if i was your age, i’d be more comfortable with myself. but im not there yet, and if you want this to work —
him: i KNOW. im not telling you to be anything else —
me: wait, i didn’t mean that to come off as an attack. i wasn’t attacking you, im just being honest … if you want this to work, then we’ll just have to deal with how i am. i do see what you mean, though, and i know i get like this. i get quiet when it gets more serious, and i do this with you too, because i think too much all the time. i think too much about what i should say to you, whether what i’ll say will sound stupid, what you will think …
him: oh, come on. i tell you stupid stuff all the time.
me: i know, and i like that, and i wish i could too. i really want to be that way. but you’ll have to help me. you’ll have to ask me questions, otherwise i’ll never get there.
him: i’ve never asked a person so many questions before.
me: did you never have a quiet friend?
him: no, not someone i dated at least.
me: well, now you do. there you go, this will make you a better man.
him: (LAUGHS.) i like you.
me: i like you too. im sorry it’s so hard.
him: im sorry too.
me: i think we need to work on this together. i thought it was just your fault earlier, but now i think we both need to try.
him: me too.
me: (SIGHS.) we’ve work to do.
him: that’s why i said it might not work before.
me: ugh, i hate it when you talk like that. why can’t you just be optimistic. if you don’t think it’s gonna work, then why are we even talking?
him: hey, i didn’t say it isn’t going to, i said it might not.
me: yeah, which is the same thing.
him: no, it’s not.
me: ok how’s it ANY different?
him: because it means it MIGHT work … or it might not. i still want it to work and hope it will.
me: well, then why can’t u just focus on the positive? how can hope become real without positivity?
him: well, im not pessimistic, just realistic.
me: do you think im too idealistic?