Friday, June 20, 2014

Conversations


I got on the train the other day after work with a damp kleenex in hand. The last car, with the seats facing backwards, had a person sitting in every row on both sides. And each one of them had a backpack or briefcase or lowered tray table in front of the seat next to them. A sure sign that they weren't looking for company. Kind of like the public transportation version of a 'Do Not Disturb Sign'. 

I walked to the next car and sat beside a kind faced man who looked like he was smiling even when he was looking straight. The only problem was, he was a talker. And I was in even less of a mood to do that than usual. He asked me what I was reading. Wild, I told him. "A book about a lady hiking", was the supremely crappy summary I offered. I asked him the same question. He said he was reading a report about the financial crisis because he was suing someone on Wallstreet. I nodded, not knowing what to say to that. I wanted to say that sounds like an interesting read, but I've been trying hard not to say things I don't mean. I also couldn't talk for one more minute about something I didn't know much about. Although, at the time, pretending to be interested in the financial crisis was much better than having to think about how my grandpa was in the hospital and I was on a train going away from him.

Feelings don't like to be controlled, but they can certainly be distracted. I like to think that man knew his specific form of distraction was comforting to me. Maybe he's held a damp kleenex in his hand while surrounded by strangers before too. 

When I got off the train, Scott picked me up and we went to the skatepark before sunset. I fell three times and got hit in the shin by some other guy's board when I was coming down the snake run, but I think we are making progress (I also bought a mouthguard on Wednesday. Just to be safe). 

I called my grandpa when we got home. He was in good spirits, watching a lot of NCIS and recovering from a bout with pneumonia, according to the doctors. I said I loved him and he said he loved me. I could tell he was happy I called, even though he was trying to fall asleep. I went to bed that night lucky for the conversations I had that day.

We are visiting my grandpa today. In some way, I don't know what I'll say to him just like I didn't know what to say to the man reading the boring paper, but I'm not too concerned because I think I learned that the less you worry about what you're supposed to say and more about the person you're talking to, the better things turn out to be.

And now, I have to go. But I did want to mention that the plumeria are blooming and we got some new succulents that I planted in a formerly vacant pretty blue bowl. They seemed like they needed to come home with me, although they poked me the whole walk there. They're called 'moon cactus'; a scientific phenomenon, it seems. The surfing pictures are from a pretty bad day in Oceanside this week, but I'll take it. 

11 comments:

  1. Praying for your grandpa and for you! Hope your weekend is wonderful!

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah! You too.

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  2. I'm so sorry your grandpa is in the hospital. I'll be sending you all good thoughts and well wishes across the miles. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to say, but I'm sure just you being there with him will speak volumes, Devon:)

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    1. Thank you Kari. I appreciate that a lot. Have a good weekend!

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  3. This is such a genuine post, and something I struggle with too. I am horrible at small talk but I think your point is so valid, to put your focus on the person rather than what you are going to say. I hope your grandpa starts to feel better. Your blog is so inspirational and raw. I love that

    She is Born of the Sea

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    1. Wow, thank you so much. Your thoughtful words are so encouraging. I am very lucky to have this blogging community and the support of people like you.

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  4. I hope your grandpa is better soon Devon. We are going to see my partner's mother this weekend. She's in a care home now following a stroke, so it's not always easy to think of things to say, especially for me as I'm generally not particularly good at thinking of things to say anyway. I really love the picture of you in silhouette looking out to see, it's beautiful. You're in my thoughts Devon, I hope your visit to your grandpa is a good one. CJ xx

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    1. I think you're great at thinking of things to say. Your comments and emails are always so thoughtful and well written. I hope your visit partner's mother went well. Thank you for the kind thoughts.

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  5. Sending good thoughts & healing vibes your granddad's way. I hope you mange to have a nice weekend xx

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