I was sitting out on the porch the other day, being a single twenty-something and drinking a glass of wine, smoking a clove, and lounging in a recliner in the cool night air. Mind you this is Texas and I have some sort of sensory processing issue so by “cool” I mean 75, maybe 80, but friends were around and we’d just eaten some home made Indian food (though I was the brownest of the six of us) so it was a pretty perfect chillax setting.
Like I said, I’m out on the porch, my friend’s porch, and her brother asks if I still live in the house where his sister and I had lived two years ago. I l
eave out the part where I’ve moved five times since then and say that no, I don’t, but I live just a few blocks away.
“Oh,” he replies, “Do you know Nathaniel?”
Oh, Nathaniel. Nathaniel is one of the maybe 40 people from my church that live in this community, hoping to be a light in the darkness, enjoying the cheap rent, and joking about the roosters crowing. (Yes, the roosters do crow all day long and no, his name is NOT Nathaniel. But I just watched Last of the Mohicans and I don’t know anyone named Nathaniel so it seems as suiting a psuedonym as anything else.
“Yeah, I know Nathaniel. I mean…. I don’t ever hang out with him.”
I go on to explain that I don’t think Nathaniel is a bad guy… I don’t think he’s a good guy I just don’t have any opinion on what kind of guy he is because I never talk to him and NOT because I don’t like him just because…. I don’t ever understand anything he says. The others on the porch all slowly chime in that they feel the same, all of us wondering if we mean the same as the others. So I qualified.
“For years I felt like I never understood anything Nathaniel would say. I mean, he speaks English so I understand when he’s talking, I just never know what he’s saying. So one day I just told him.
“Nathaniel, I don’t think I ever understand what you mean when you’re talking and I don’t think you really understand me when I speak either.”
And he responded, “What do you mean.”
And I said, “See? Exactly!””
You have any of those in your life? the people who, no matter how many words they use, or which words, you just never really know what they are saying?