Sunday, May 04, 2003

Trust me

My parents always told me I shouldn't trust people who can't look me in the eye. This came along with other useful tips like: "Never trust someone with a weak/cold/clammy or complicated handshake" and "Never trust someone who has to tell you you can trust them." You'd think there were trust issues when I was growing up, but we all trusted each other so much in my house, that even as a teenager I didn't bother to hide my diary. I didn't even question how my sister might know of the secret-illegal things I'd done. I thought maybe we were just really *close* and we'd developed some sort of sisterly ESP.

I've kept diaries ever since I ran out of metaphors for teen-angst poetry, so I have excellent documentation of the most embarassing period of my life. I love rereading entries describing break-ups, make-outs and substance abuse. I am appalled by my terrible handwriting. I am fascinated I survived those years and amused by every painful second of them.

I made the mistake of thinking it would amuse my friends, too. I decided to make my diary (given to me by my older, drug-using, fast driving, cigarette smoking, son-of-a-lawyer boyfriend) recounting my sweet sixteenth year, public. I placed it on the coffee table and made it known that everyone was welcome to read it. I had even returned torn out 'pages-of-shame' to their rightful place inside the book again. I couldn't wait to sit around and joke about the person I was. I thought it would be hilarious for my ex-boyfriend to read about how madly in love I claimed to be. I thought my best friend would laugh when she read how I really felt when she kissed my boyfriend during a mononucleosis outbreak in our high school. Not so.

The book was left untouched in my presence and they eventually asked me to put it away because it was making them uncomfortable. I suppose we are always tied so intimately to our past that, in other people's eyes, it's hard for them to recognize that we've undergone complete cerebral overhauls. I simply am not capable of doing or saying or thinking most of the things I'd written about almost a decade earlier. It then occurred to me that maybe when people can't look you straight in the eye, it's because they don't trust you.

This all came to mind when my ex-boyfriend, the one that provided much of the drama in the diary in question, emailed me asking if he could spend the night at my house on his way through the city. I mentioned it to my current live-in love and we supposed we wouldn't mind. I said, "Well it won't be that bad. It's not like he'd steal anything from us or anything." As the words left my mouth, I began questioning whether he really might, if only just for kicks.

We'll see if I'll be able to look him in the eye when he gets here. I might have to keep my eyes on my stuff instead.

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