Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Phone Call

You know that person?

The person you truly admire, whose personality is so forceful and inspiring and charismatic that s/he is surrounded by friends all the time? This is the kind of person whom you automatically think is incredibly popular and therefore you feel very lucky that she has deigned to invest time in you. You're amazed, absolutely amazed.

This is the kind of person whom I would hesitate to call because I assume that she is very busy with her many friends, with all the people who love her and wish to speak to her and admire her. And I wouldn't want to call because I would feel like I was wasting her time, and in such a case I wouldn't want to do that.

The kind of person who you assume has it all; is self-satisfied and happy and completely set for life.

Right. That person.

So imagine my amazement when that person literally went dancing around the room and hugged me and shouted "You called!" with such obvious delight and pleasure upon seeing me this evening.

As though she had actually been waiting for my call and was thrilled that I had called and had been unsure if I would. As though I were important.

This means one of two things.

Either this is a mark of her incredible sensitivity toward people- that she has the ability to care about them and see the good in them and to care about how they behave toward her.

Or it means that perhaps the very popular people or the people I assume to be very popular are not necessarily so. And they don't necessarily receive all the attention I assume is given to them, and they don't necessarily have the numerous acquaintances and friends with whom they'd like to spend their time. And perhaps, just like I am, they're lonely a lot of the time, and although they're very kind and giving they'd also like someone to understand.

It can be very draining to give and not necessarily to receive. We all know that feeling. We give whatever is good in us and perhaps some of the bad as well (although the bad is generally reserved for those who are closest to us) and we let people touch the truth and then we worry, because they have seen it and we wonder about how they are going to treat it. If she sees me, is she still going to be my friend? If he sees my true self, what will he do?

The worst thing in the world is to be truthful and to be treated harshly, maligned or hated or pronounced a freak, an outcast or an otherwise evil creature. Then there is indifference, which is also terrible; I've given you something so important to me, I've told you something that for me has so much meaning- and you don't care? You have nothing to say?

It occurs to me now that she is not necessarily so different than I. She gives and gives more freely, she dances and sings and entertains; she shares her soul with those who she deems worthy, and she deems more worthy than I ever would. But once you have given someone a glimpse of your soul, that person is automatically important and hence you care; you want to know what they think about you and who you are because they know you, who you really are.

And so, although she is happy and free and surrounded by people, good people, sweet people who are kind to her and pleasant and interesting, she still cares about my phone call.

Which obviously makes me feel good about myself, because it means that I matter.

But more importantly, it means that I shouldn't judge by the divide; she may be popular and I will never be, she may believe in a light I think is long gone, she may be passionate about things I can't feel for- but it doesn't matter. Because in the end, we're the same. We're all the same.

We are all lonely people looking for those who see a side of us that's different and unique, who think that we matter and respond when we tell them a truth about ourselves. We're looking for the people who are interested in us; the ones who think that we're worth knowing.

We're looking for the people who care.

It was only a phone call. I thought she wouldn't care. What could one phone call be to someone like that, someone surrounded by friends, someone who is so fascinating, so interesting, whose very presence lights up the room?

Apparently it mattered, though.

Apparently she cares.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chana,
you are so silly!
Here at Stern people talk about your smarts and kind heart often. The girls always say that you love to help,to explain the meaning of a difficult pasuk or teach them the beauty of English language. Besides, we think you are popular and pretty.
What's up?

Ezzie said...

Ooooh, Chana understands! :D

Chana said...

Anonymous,

Of all the things I did not expect to ever see written about me...

Thanks so much! I'm amazed. That's not how I see myself, you see; I often believe myself to be rather frustrating, arrogant and needy, none of which I particularly like.

Anyway, you made my day and thanks for your kind words.

Ezzie,

Oh, stop being silly. :D

tnspr569 said...

Wise words. A very important point, in the end.

Scraps said...

This is the kind of person whom I would hesitate to call because I assume that she is very busy with her many friends, with all the people who love her and wish to speak to her and admire her. And I wouldn't want to call because I would feel like I was wasting her time, and in such a case I wouldn't want to do that.

The worst thing in the world is to be truthful and to be treated harshly, maligned or hated or pronounced a freak, an outcast or an otherwise evil creature. Then there is indifference, which is also terrible; I've given you something so important to me, I've told you something that for me has so much meaning- and you don't care? You have nothing to say?

Of all that you wrote, I can relate the most to these two paragraphs. I don't think of myself as pretty, or popular, and sometimes I quite frankly wonder how anyone can stand me (and that's now; I truly have no idea how anyone put up with me in high school). And it's so hard when I've tried to open up and really share myself with someone, and they either use it against me or just plain don't care. I worry about what people think of me, what they're saying when I'm out of earshot. I worry that what they're saying isn't very nice...and that I deserve it.