Friday, May 4, 2012

Arms Crossed

This piece of memoir comes via The Red Dress Club’s challenge this week to begin a narrative with the idea of “crossed arms.”


I walk in and drop onto the brown leather sofa, arms crossed, knees touching and my feet turned in. 

"Hi Cathy.  How are you?" she asks as she always does.  Her opening line superficial compared with the looking, studying me for the non-verbal answers.

"Oh I'm fine.  And how are you?" I pleasantly reply.  I've got a smile on my face but I know she doesn't believe me, and this session isn't about her.

"I'm good," she replies with a quick, all-knowing chuckle.  It's the beginning of the dance.  Her eyes are probing and I drop my gaze.  With the pleasantries behind us, the standard inquiry is presented. 

"So, really, how are you?  What's going on with you?" she asks.  Such a loaded question this week.

I sit quietly, arms still crossed, head bent down looking at the crisscross pattern, an elongated letter X my arms make being folded into one another.   And still I remain quiet.  Moments pass without a word but there's no pressure to speak.   She will wait for me.  It's too difficult to speak and she knows.

The tears fall silently and finally I must unfold my arms to reach for the tissues.    I grab a few and dry my eyes.  I stall by continuing to dab at them repeatedly.

"It's been a really hard week." I manage to say, my voice hard to hold steady so it comes out barely more than a whisper.

And still she sits in silence waiting for more.  She knows it will come and it does.   I sink in to the sofa and begin to relax and release a flood of emotionally full words.
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