Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things Left Unsaid

She puts her marguerita down as gently as possible on the marble surface. But she shudders as the clash of glass and marble draws the attention of the entire pub to their little corner booth. Max chuckles:


"Shut up." she rolls her eyes, but smiles anyway.

His friend Jake pipes up, "So, Max, riddle me this? It's Five-for-Four-Fridays - how come you haven't got a girl on each arm?" The rest laugh, but still look at him questioningly.

With his beer in one hand, he drums his fingers on the table edge. The rhythmic beat is lost in the din of the evening crowd.

"See, guys," he turns to the rest of them, as they all take a swig from their beers and listen. "I'm - " but he pauses. His weathered-eye flicks across the pub to the table near the door. She's sitting there, as she does every friday night, as simply beautiful as she did the first night he saw her. He turns back to his friends, none-the-wiser of his practised, snatched look.

"Well?" blurts Sidney.

"We haven't all year, mate." laughs Marshall, already ordering his third pint of the night. "And neither do the girls!" hinting at a group of sorority girls who are eyeing Max from the bar's counter.

Max smiles, but looks up and around the table. This is his closest circle, his entourage... his friends. The group of people he trusts the most. They look to him, waiting for him to finish his thought, but he can't.


Now, try and follow me here, cause it gets a little dense. We all have our own definitions, or pre-requisites if you will, for friendship. And I don't mean the-guy-that-helped-me-get-laid-in-college sort of friend. I mean the true, honest, through-thick-n-thin sort. The sort that only come along once or twice in a lifetime. So, as these 'pre-requisites' go, most generally agree that true friends know you better than anyone else. You could be the most deceptively hidden and evasive character (like Max), but they would still be able to see past the common, everyday bullshit.

Max (and forgive the overrated, overused example) could be the classic playboy: smooth, suave and clever. But he wishes his friends knew that there was something else to his actions, some deeper motive hidden behind his flat-faced sex-capades. Unfortunately, Max is also not-the-type to share himself that openly. He doesn't want to simply explain his predicament, because that would be against his exterior character - against his self-engineered, outer facade.

So, it boils down to this. Sometimes (and I know I'm not alone here), we wish our own self-exploiting, self-sabotaging attitude wouldn't get in the way of those people around us understanding what we really mean when we say something entirely different - something the rest of the world expects from us - simply because we're not the loud, 2D characters that like to blurt out our inner thoughts and emotions like a cute Coca-Cola advert.

Yeah, there's the obvious solution of just 'saying what we mean', but - quite honestly - we don't want to give up our facade just yet. Why? Maybe because it provides us with some sort of comforting security after a hard-learned lesson. Maybe because we just don't fancy the idea of displaying ourselves for every window-shopper that waltzes past our shop. The reason changes from one person to the next - so don't press it. That may be selfish of us to expect that of our friends, but it's never so much an expectation as a small hope. Sometimes, we all just want to be understood and accepted without having to spell it out, without letting down our guard and without revealing that what Max really wants is the perfect girl to come along. Sometimes, we just wish that those'things left unsaid weren't lost to the ears of our friends and family.

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