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the realest relationship

the realest relationship

“did you ask to be married, or were you asked?” the doctor asked.

it hardly seemed to matter in the moment of his inquiry, but i wanted to be honest, while also not feeling the discomfort that came with facing up to the kind of person and thought patterns that’d led me to his couch.

“i don’t remember asking or being asked, but i do remember telling,” i answered, hoping he wouldn’t press further, especially because i didn’t see the point.

“what was the telling?” he asked.

damn, i thought to myself. after a loud sigh i continued,

“i told him i wasn’t gonna play house, that i didn’t have time for games or energy to invest in chess pieces. so it wasn’t an ask, at least i didn’t see it that way. i still consider it a tell, a way to show him i wasn’t hiding any cards, or at least i think that was my intention. do you see it differently?” i finished.

“what did you hope the outcome of your tell would be?” he asked.

ignoring my question again, i thought.

“i was a kid at the time and wish i could remember to tell you cause i tend to blab off at the mouth without considering outcomes, but generally, i’m guessing i was hoping for a reciprocation of truth. if you’re asking whether i considered my tell would lead him to ask for marriage, then no, but to be fair, i tend to think relationships should be real, all of them, not just the romantic ones, and to be transparent, i misunderstand about fifty-percent of what people say to me, so my wordiness is to compensate for a general sense of walking through the world in confusion,” i answered.

“was it real?” he asked.

“why does this feel like going backwards in therapy?” i wondered.

“yes and no. if you’d have asked me fifteen years ago, i’d have said yes for sure, but real is something we tend to conjure, so today i say no, because i conjured something in my head that wasn’t being lived out physically in real life, and emotional pain can be a powerful waking agent. i know there’s a psychological term for that, something better than denial, but please don’t remind me what it is, cause what I’d prefer to know, is why we’re discussing a marriage long failed?” i asked.

“it’s important to know currently whether you perceive your life as real or fiction, because accordingly, that perception will mold your decisions about your next relationship,” he answered.

“but my next relationship has been with myself,” i replied.

“exactly,” he smiled.

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