Please Don’t Ask Me To Feel


You know that I’m bad at this. You know I don’t like things to be complicated. I like to go about my day simply, doing the things I need to do. I like to think, I like to analyze, I like to wonder. I’m good at these things – they make sense; I like things that make sense. But when you ask me how I’m doing, when you wait patiently for an answer, when you listen attentively to the cracks in my voice, you’re asking me to feel. Don’t do that. Just go about your day like everyone else – asking without really wanting to know. Don’t tell me you genuinely care; please don’t ask me to feel.

I want to be able to listen to the stupid songs on the radio without thinking of you. I want to be able to smile at something innocent without your face piercing my thoughts; I want to be attentive to my work. I don’t want to spend  my time daydreaming about conversations in the past or in the future. I don’t want to get excited when I hear from you. So don’t tell me your favorite songs, don’t tell me about your childhood memories, and most of all, don’t be wonderful to me. Just treat me like a casual friend who you think of from time to time. Don’t tell me you’ve been thinking of me, please don’t ask me to feel.

You know that I can take care of myself. You know that I will always be the last to need someone. I like to be there for others because it’s so much easier to give than to be the one in need. It is pride, it is an overestimation of security and strength. But it’s all I’ve ever known. But when you tell me you want to know about my childhood, when you ask what makes me angry, or where I’m most happy, you’re prying into my life; you’re making me uncomfortable. Just keep the conversation light and superficial. Don’t tell me you want to know me better than anyone else, please don’t ask me to feel.

I’ve seen this story in movies before. I’ve read it in fairy tales. I’ve even watched it happen to other people. But it wasn’t meant for me like this, not quite so spectacularly. So please don’t tell me you think I’m beautiful or smart of funny. Don’t tell me that I’m the girl your family would love; don’t tell me that I’m the kind of girl you could love. Because when you say you that, you make it sound so possible, so plausible, and I might start to believe you. Just let me be the girl you mistook for the girl you wanted to be with. And don’t tell me anything anymore, please don’t ask me to feel. Because that question is as senseless as the answer I would give you – that I’ve already started to feel, and I don’t know how to make it stop.

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