I've been communicating with John pretty regularly lately - emails back and forth between us, when we each have the time. I try to be funny and casual, with just a hint of innuendo -a type of literary wink. My friend M, the only one I ever confided in about my feelings for John told me once that men were a bit thick with 'things like these' and that I would have to help John reach a certain understanding. I never really kicked that habit.
I suppose this is because I hold hope that someday it'll all click for him - like a jigsaw completed....slapping palm to forehead, exclaiming "oh THAT's what she meant!?"
We talk about work a fair bit - he's actually been pretty lovely - offering advice and being that understanding ear I don't have elsewhere. He could simply say, don't stress - it'll get better and leave it at that; but what he does is offer strategies. I don't know his motives; I don't know why he opted to message a heap of his facebook friends telling them about the bosses job and encouraging them to look into it - I don't know why he included me in this message. I don't know why he cares to expend energy, thinking about the place he has left behind and trying to influence it from afar. Is he simply trying to help me? Or is he keeping the seat, steady and warm for his someday return - midday soap opera style?
I sent a brief, partly amusing facebook message to him last night, responding to one of his questions. Checking my mail today, I found a reply; a reply which begins with "haha! I miss you StrangeBird..". I miss you? I miss you like a friend? I miss your humour? I miss you like there's no one here like you? I miss you like I miss my dead childhood dog sometimes? I miss you like I am not whole without you?
When I read it I didn't know what to think - I left the computer and found a distraction. I returned some three hours later - logged in - stared at the message for minutes - pondered a response for many minutes more. How could I respond to this? It's the first direct emotional statement he's ever attached to me. He wrote it around midnight - was he delirious or drunk? Did he mean it in the way I wanted him to?
It took me a long time to answer. It was time to take my heart out of my pocket, dust it off and rest it on my sleeve a while. A simple reply:
I miss you too John..