rlbourges

The not-so pleasant (or downright crabby)

In Animals, Revision, The Crab Walker on June 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

You do a lot of talking when you only see a family member every three to five years or so. You catch up on the news about the others. Notice changes (or persistent patterns) in mannerisms; become aware of similar ones in yourself. Get some missing background on why this one did this thing, or didn’t.  What that one thinks of you these days. Why so-and-so doesn’t write. You notice where the riot gates stand now, compared to where they were before i.e. which topics are still out of bounds or wrapped in circumlocutions. Five-syllable words being the verbal equivalent of a riot gate.

Bridging gaps. Or acknowledging defeat. For reasons you can’t fathom, you can’t get through to this one; or that one plain refuses to talk to the other members of the family. Or refuses to play according to the rules of What Nice Families Are About.

How do you deal with someone’s refusal to talk to you? With the set piece opinions about who you are in that person’s view? Whether you find those opinions ludicrous or not, they exist. They are part of the picture – unflattering, sometimes downright offensive. Something like a cyst or a tumor you’d like to ignore. There, nonetheless.

If you pretend the unpleasant isn’t there, does it go away? No. It settles in. Takes up as much space as it can. Unless…

Ah. Unless you 1) take it on or 2) give it the good old judo treatment (if it can be budged) or 3) put your attention somewhere else, maybe, instead of feeding the grudge with extra plant food.

But that’s the thing with a long standing grudge: it’s like a toothache you’ve turned into a pet.

Question to the characters: which one of you wants to take this one on?

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