An oxymoron, for sure.
Last night, I dreamed of a digital device. I was responsible for it and needed to use it for something important—a presentation, a demo, or similar. But somehow in the exchange of hands or perhaps a lack of awareness on my part, it fell into the hands of someone that constantly wanted the best for me (in his twisted way), but I distrusted his results.
And so, perhaps moments before the showcase of my device, I discovered that it had been tampered. “I was trying to make it better,” he said in a obnoxious tone.
“You did?” I said and could feel anger flare throughout my body.
I glared at him, and he did notice. “This is better,” he said.
I woke up, finding myself pushed down in the bed, clutching the pillow. To me, it’s somewhat interesting that I have landed in a responsible position, to present and demonstrate to others. I remember this person—someone who I had rebuffed, but insisted that he felt that he connected with me. In those moments, my irritation melted away, and I would agree to catsit while he traveled. But my displeasure would return when I found that he used my accounts with my knowledge or demanded that I change my ways. He called his behavior “brutal honesty.”
There was once when he gave me the sunglasses and scarf his subtenant left behind. “This is a present for you,” he said. “For catsitting.”
“Don’t,” I said and pushed it back into his arms.
One time, because I ran out of cash, I wrote a check to pay him back for a concert ticket. “I don’t take checks,” he said.
He took the check and tore it into little pieces, dropping it like confetti in front of me. I must have laughed then, amused at his ridiculousness. But inside, I was seething. I never paid him back him back.
It has been more than three years since we last spoke. In our initial silence, he unfriended me on Facebook. But several months passed by and he sent a friend request. I did not offer any “accept” in return. And the silence continues to this day.
Back then, he lived less than 100 steps from my building. Occasionally, when I walk down Valencia Street, I glance up to the third story window. Almost by habit, I wonder if the light is still on and whether the cat is cold from the open window. Then I continue walking, happy to jog up my steps back into my apartment.