A Thousand Things I Never Say

I have a thousand things to say to you. If only you would listen. Oh, you hear my words, but you don’t listen to my heart. The meaning beneath what I say.

My casual, how are you today? means that I am thinking about you. And I want the very best for you. I truly want to know, how ARE you today? Are you well? Are you happy? Does my question mean anything to you? You see it as small-talk. Minuscule and flippant. But I really want to know. Everything about you. What did you eat? What music played on the radio as you drove to work? Did you sing along? Do you ever wish I was sitting beside you? Are you sleeping well? What new artwork have you created? Do I ever inspire you?

When I say I believe in you, it means I believe you are so much greater than the surface stuff. I see the you beneath the daily grind. Layers and layers to make you who you are. I know your art is so very important. It moves me. It moves many. It will move many more. I will do everything in my power to see you achieve your goals and dreams because you are worth it. Am I worth it to you? Dare I share my dreams with you? My loyalty extends to all areas. From your occupation to your family life, near and extended, to your writing to your innate skills, both realized and untapped, to the love you hold so close to your core.

The words I love you, would so easily slip from my lips if only you’d allow it. So I mouth them mutely instead. You are so steady, so controlled. You hold the reins to your heart and guide it as you see fit. But mine isn’t so. I am free-spirited. My heart made its choice long ago and I watch with wistful longing. Oh to be yours! I sigh. You joke and laugh, making light of this truth.

But this love runs deeper than you realize. Than I allow myself to show you. Because you don’t hold me in the same light. And we both know you never will. You appreciate me in your own way, yes. You care for me. But you hold your love for others. My shape does not fit your missing piece, does it? And how can this be? I want to beg of you. Why oh why can’t we match? You make me whole, why can’t I do the same for you?

I know, I’m not failing in some way, or lacking. I am who I am and always will be. Still I attempt to change my shape, bending to what I think you want. (Deep down, I know not only should I not do this, but it will never be enough.) You have said so on many occasions. I’m just not for you.

I fold in on myself. I back away. The tug to be nearer to you grows stronger. I pull away more. I must overcome this. I must be okay without you. For that is my reality. I carve off a slice of you and hold it in the quietest part of me so that only I know you are there. I love you! I love you! I love you! I scream. You are all I’ve ever wanted. You are it for me. Every other one pales….

I pull back again. I must maintain control! I must be more like you: choosing who I love. But my heart bellows: I know whom I love! It was never any question! But when I whisper I love you after we have parted ways and you’re just out of earshot, you believe… well, I don’t know what you believe.

When I say I miss you, it means that I am less of a woman without you. I am partial, incomplete. I am weak. Oh I appear strong because I have to. But I am weak. When I am with you, life flows through my veins. I find myself laughing more. I find myself saying things to try to get a smile or a laugh from you. I mean that with you, it’s like I can fly. I can grow. I can breathe. I can bloom. I can.

You think I’m ridiculous. Who misses someone after ten minutes? Or an hour? Or a day? I do. I miss you. Time changes when we are together. One hour is a minute. Four hours is fifteen. I have no idea. But watching your retreating back is the hardest thing I do. Do you see me as pathetic? I’m glad you’ve never told me because I’m afraid that’s just what you’d say.

You’re fine! You don’t need me! you’d say. Well, sure, I don’t need you. But I want you. I want every part of you. Better or worse. Ugly or gorgeous. Tired or ecstatic. I want it all. I crave even the slightest touch from you. Not that physical touch, while that’s nice, no I mean the touch of souls that makes sparks and passion and creativity and hope. That’s what you are to me.

So when I say simply hey, it means everything I just said and so, so much more. If only you’d listen to the words I never say.


tara caribou | ©2019

24 thoughts on “A Thousand Things I Never Say

  1. this brings up many thoughts … and confrontations. who is to know, so much is said so cheaply and i’m so crap at working out which is which, because i think actions speak louder than words, but maybe if that is true i am doing better than i know, and that question kills me …

    Liked by 1 person

        1. haha! Okay then. Now we’re all feeling like shit all the way around. I don’t know. I need to reread what I wrote because now I don’t remember what but I’m sure it’s pathetic, whatever it is, since I know what headspace I’ve been in…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Words mean everything, and yet, at the same time, can mean nothing. The insurmountable problem is that we can never truly be sure of how others interpret what we say and, indeed, what we mean, and I feel that you have expressed this perfectly in this piece, Tara.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So many people don’t mean any of that when they ask how you are. As a society, we put more pressure on small, useless chit-chat. We focus on being nice and proper. Digging deeper might uncover some blemishes, so why do that? Superficial relations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it goes hand in hand with our discomfort with quiet pauses: empty spaces. Often when I talk to people for the first time, I explain that I not only talk slowly (it’s an Alaskan thing) but I am not uncomfortable with silence. So there will be long pauses in the conversation. I’m okay with it. That’s just how I am. But I am also very careful in my wording. (A source of contention with some as I am quite precise…. I mean what I say, but also more.) So, to me, small talk is important. If someone asks me how I’m doing, like in a store, I actually answer truthfully. (Hint, they don’t always listen). I figure, don’t ask if you don’t want to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m totally on board with the “don’t ask if you don’t want to know.” I’ve said it on my blog before – some people ask how you are and then walk away. Some people answer that question with a “hello.” It’s like our language is eroding.

        I don’t speak slowly, but I do speak slower at times than I used to. For a variety of reasons.

        Pauses are something that I don’t mind, either. Too many people feel like they need to fill those empty spaces. Now, in the era of smartphones, they just pull out a phone (which to me, is a sign of a slight disrespect).

        Liked by 2 people

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