Ian and I
The other day after waking up, I forced myself to do the daily post of Talking Barnacles, which was about the day of Bin Laden’s death. After posting it, I became really nervous about how Ian would react when he would see it because this one as well as the past couple of posts hadn’t been very nice about him and I knew how sensitive he was. So after lunch, I crept upstairs to our office where Ian was working and asked him if he would like a glass of juice since he asked me to pick up some from the store earlier. He said he appreciated the offer, but he didn’t want to trouble me since I had just come upstairs. I told him that it would be no problem at all, and then quickly went down and poured him a glass. When I finally came back with it, he was quite pleased with my thoughtfulness, which was what I was secretly hoping for because I was racked with guilt.
Later that night at a party, our friends kept taking Ian aside and asking him whether things were alright between us since they had been reading Talking Barnacles. He reassured them that we were fine and that I was just over dramatizing things... but later when Ian told me what he said, I was bothered because I didn’t dramatize or exaggerate on T.B before except for once, which was for the article External Pressures 2 about not being able to publish the original External Pressures article. E.P. was about how I was feeling stressed out back then because the people around me were telling me what I could and couldn’t write about all the time. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to expose who they were and their insecurities in public to reveal that it was actually no big deal, but, in the end, it was a big deal because I wasn’t allowed to publish it... Hence the creation of External Pressures 2… and the only part in E.P. 2, (and T.B. in general) which I exaggerated about was the last sentence where I had talked about the time when I had shown the original E.P. to everyone, whom I had written about, asking them for their permission to post it, but none of them were able to finish reading it because they were so mad… Actually though, the truth was that one of them did finish, which was Ian, but the whole time he was reading it, I saw him pulling his hair and looking really upset.
Anyways, back to the present, Ian and I are fine… Close friendships have good and bad patches just like romantic ones. Ian said it was because he had been stressed out about other things, which was true for me as well, but in addition to this though, I think there might be another reason, which I hadn’t been able to put into words until now...
Before T.B., I had always looked up to Ian like a hero or role model or just someone who knew a lot more about the world than me because he is eight years older and has experienced more things than anyone else I know, which was why I had always assumed that Ian was always right and knew what was the best thing to do at all times and in all situations… Even during the first week after the panic of the quake, I laid all the responsibilities and decisions on him because he was pretty much the leader of the house, which was fine with me then… but after I started Talking Barnacles, I began finding my own voice again (after being lost for three years), which has been defining my own vision and philosophy on life as well; and when someone starts finding their voice, they tend to lose their old heroes or- what was the phrase- kill them...? When people are lost, they search randomly absorbing everything around them because they have no bearings… There are lots of people they admire and aspire to be, but once they realize who they really are, their heroes don’t mean as much to them as they did before… so I think that part of this irritability that I had been feeling recently, especially at home, was like I was going through a kind of puberty once again where I had to rebel against my parent or authority figure, which, I guess, was Ian unfortunately.
Ian once said something funny a long time ago, which I had written down on a scrap of paper so that I wouldn’t forget. The other day while cleaning my desk, I rediscovered it, but forgot the details surrounding what it was about. The paper said:
I wanted to kick the cat, but I ended up kicking the man.
I think he said it in our office right after Willy had peed on his bed and he was real mad, but I can’t remember who this man was that he was referring to and I doubt that there was anyone else around besides the two of us when he said it… so if it wasn’t him, it must have been me.