Late One Night

Late at night

There had been no doubt that he had broken things off with me.

So when he showed up at my doorstep with a bottle of wine, it was surprising.

Square jawed and dimpled, he stood a foot taller than me.  He had grown well into the fortyish version of himself.

Why are you here? I wanted to ask.  Why now? But he walked right past me to the kitchen, opened a cabinet and took two glasses.

I had no idea how she got in, but he sat down across the table, from her, and poured the wine.

They chatted, in hushed tones, drinking, laughing at jokes that they shared between themselves, an extension of some obvious and inherent understanding they had of each other.

I wanted to interrupt, but it wasn’t my place.  Their nods, her hand on his, told the story. So, I watched from a distance, this former friend and former boyfriend, until startled.

It was 3 am.

I sat up and propped my head against the pillow, brain searching for the meaning of the two of them meeting in the same room.

In my room.

He didn’t leave me for her. They had never known each other, had lived in my life at different times.

Both had walked away until tonight.

I’ve often asked myself what I could have done differently. Maybe something, maybe nothing at all.

I can only conclude after their rendezvous, that if and when I figure out the reason behind one, I will understand the reason behind the other.

Yet would figuring out change things now?

Would it have changed anything then?

There are people who get you and there are people who don’t get you and there are the people who don’t get you but love you anyway because they understand that you may not see the world through the same eyes they do.

There are the people who take everything you say personally and the people who understand that it’s not about them.

There are the friends that would help you move a body and never question or judge.  There are the friends who will always question or judge.

There are people who see you for who they think you are, and the people who see you for who you think you are.

And then, there are the people who see you for who you really are.

I want those to be my people.

When one of them knocks at 3 am, I’d be glad to let them in.


This post is dedicated to my amazing friend Adrienne Bolton, Author of The Mommy Mess and inspired by her post  Lost in Translation.   Because, “It’s not about the words we say, but how they make others feel.”


Late One Night — 54 Comments

  1. I want those to be my people too! This tugs at my heart today for reasons I could never type here. There are just some things/people I will never understand. I wish my thoughts and dreams were free of them, but we don’t have any control over where our mind goes when we’re not controlling it. I get this.

    Thank you so much for the love, my friend! I can’t wait to come over Thursday and almost have something to send your way. I just can’t seem to make my mind up on which direction to go with my visit. XO
    Adrienne recently posted…There’s Only Room for OneMy Profile

    • I love what you sent me for Thursday and I can’t wait! And while I’m sorry you know this drill all too well, I’m glad you know it too – because I think it’s healthy when at the least, we know who we are in comparison to who others think we are, and do not accept their truth as verbatim. xo

    • I was glad these ghosts emerged because I was able to learn a thing or two while they were with me. But it was odd to see these two people sit at my table, even if it was just a dream!

  2. If it weren’t for the people that don’t judge and never ask questions about moving the body, I’m not sure I could function in this world. Thank God for people who get me…and it…

    If anyone else showed up at my door at 3 a.m. I’m not sure I’d be amused. 🙂
    Martha recently posted…Love Life Surf – My First Guest PostMy Profile

    • Martha, it’s so true. I am more grateful for those handful of people who get me – really get me – than anything or anyone on this planet – especially this year. I am so glad you have those people. Hugs.

  3. I want those people to be my people too! I struggle with on and off “on” and “off” weeks or so. I’m at an “off” point right now. They’re really insane. I feel disconnected and like no one gets me at all – in real life or in my blog/twitter, etc. Ah well. They do pass. And there are people like you whose words fill me up again.
    Tamara recently posted…The Hollow.My Profile

    • It’s funny with the blog, I will sometimes write something and mean for it to come off a certain way, and then no one reads it the way I intend it to be read, or at least that what is seems from the comment thread! The same in RL too tough – when I find myself saying over and over again “But that’s NOT what I meant!” I think for a lot of people, they can only see life through their filter and no one else’s. I think that’s when I feel disconnected.

  4. People who just *know* you – it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, does it? There is nothing like knowing that someone gets me – we can spend our time talking in understanding rather than explanation.
    Kim recently posted…She Strikes AgainMy Profile

    • I think a lot of this starts with listening. Really being able to listen without allowing our own biases and world view to get in the way first. But that’s hard for a lot of people. Really hard. But you’d think it wouldn’t be a lot to ask for, right?

  5. I have a friend that walked out of my life shortly after my wedding. I don’t know why, and haven’t heard from her since. I still wonder what happened. Sometimes I wish she would show up in a dream so I could get a bit of closure.
    Rabia @ TheLiebers recently posted…Big Boy Birthday BashMy Profile

    • Oh, Rabia, my sweet friend. I hope you get your closure too. Ironically, I had a friend walk out of my life around the time I got married too! I do know that with things like this, so much of it has nothing to do with us and muc more to do with them. xo

    • I didn’t want it to end because I wanted to know what they were saying about me! You are too sweet. xo

  6. 3 am…odd coincidence. Beautiful post. I had a similar experience but it was the same group of friends so I battled with if it started between them before it ended for us. The mental torture went on for a while but finally tapered off. It’s hard with unknowns but would the truth appease us, probably not.
    Marcia @ findingfelicity recently posted…SpeakMy Profile

    • That’s such a good point about questioning whether or not the truth would appease us? If I got the answers I wanted about this man and this friend, would it have made a difference? Sometimes, these things are not worth the mental torture, for sure.

  7. I always thought that eventually, as I got older, that friendships would blossom into these amazing constant anchors in my life. Not so much. Just as complicated as the teen days. People come in and out of our lives. They may get you one minute, then be so distant the next. I guess that makes room for new people though – which is always a good thing!
    Leah Davidson recently posted…Soccer tournamentMy Profile

    • I agree! And it seems when I let go of either someone who really does not want to be around anymore or someone who is just plain “not good for me,” I’ve created space for someone else who is wonderful and who does get me, to come in!

    • I agree that people come and go for reasons, and that if we are willing to look, there are lessons to be learned about ourselves from these interactions. But I also love my keeper friends who are here for good!

    • Thanks, Jamie. I love my “move the body” friends and more importantly, I know who they are. I hope that for all of us!

  8. I know every time I come here I say something about how you’re reading my mind and writing what I need to read and I’m sure that’s annoying now but every time, it’s true! I want those to be my people too and I recently let go of a person who was not that. She judges and takes things personally and doesn’t see me for who I am but still I’ve been struggling with walking away. But when I read this, it seems so simple. Wonderful post, friend.
    Tricia recently posted…Mixed OsMy Profile

    • Thanks, my friend. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s OK to walk away. I think when our peace is constantly disturbed, we have to follow and take care of our hearts. And I will NEVER get annoyed by your saying I read your mind! xo

  9. I was feeling melancholy about lost friendships last week. I have very few regrets in life, but one of them is a friendship I fucked up with a bipolar meltdown. She got struck by emotional shrapnel that was not aimed at her at all. It wasn’t a question of her taking personally something I had intended for another. I hit the other, but in doing so, also struck her. [not, I emphasize, physically] And … we still know each other … she’s still … kind to me … but the closeness is gone. And I cannot change it, cannot take it back, perhaps still WOULD not if I COULD, because the person I was angry with had hurt Sam. [Again EMOTIONALLY, not physically]. ANYWAY, all of that is to say that your post reminds me of that feeling. Strongly.
    Jester Queen recently posted…CoincidenceMy Profile

    • That’s so hard – to lose the closeness of a friendship but still have it. There is always that unspoken regret that lives in the room with you. I am so sorry you had to go through that because of one bad instance.

    • It’s a shame it doesn’t work that way – because all of us deserve to be seen for who we really are – and the gifts we have to offer the world.

    • It’s so nice to meet you Maureen, and I am glad to hear that you are surrounded by “those kinds of people!” We are lucky to have a few of those in our lifetime!

  10. Friends who love me for who I am: yes, yes. I do want to be held accountable so I can grow, though. Sometimes that means seeing my behavior against the mirror of their unspoken forgiveness, understanding, and unconditional love.

    I had a dear friend with whom I had our first and brief and very civil political discussion prior to the 2012 presidential election. I suspected we were voting for different candidates, and I wanted to gain some understanding. That was the last I heard from her. I had hoped she was, as you said, someone who wouldn’t get me, but would love me anyway because she understands that I may not see the world through the same eyes she does.

    • I have a strong suspicion you and I voted for different candidates in the last election! Not only do I love you, Kim, but I am glad you see the world through different eyes, and share that world view with me. That’s how we grow. xo

  11. I still have ghosts from a not so distant past appear in my dreams at night and causing all kinds of noise that I would rather bury than try to understand why they were there to begin with. I too prefer to have the people who get me in my life. I don’t have time for all the others. Wonderfully written!
    Krystal recently posted…Full disclosureMy Profile

    • Thanks, Krystal. I’m sorry you have those ghosts. But glad you have others who get you too. We are all lucky to have those! xo

  12. I have friends who on the surface seem like the wrong fit for me but underneath we understand each other. Sometimes I find it odd but realize that those are the ones who really get me.
    Denise recently posted…PYHO: Yoga, Take Me AwayMy Profile

    • It’s so amazing that it barely matters who those people are on the outside – but on the inside, if you get them and they get you, they’re keepers.

  13. So many things of this life confuse me, and I have a tendency to be so hurt by them, but I always try to remember to take memories, people, things “for what they are worth”. This doesn’t always work, but sometimes that is the only way I can find the beauty instead of pain. Does this make any sense? Anyway, I really loved this post and feel like your words “got me”. Thanks, Ilene.
    Meredith recently posted…Why We Don’t Eat at Restaurants (Or Generally Leave the House)My Profile

    • Meredith, that makes total sense. I have learned to take the good memories, even from the people who haven’t stayed around. And I love your idea of finding the beauty versus the pain. Sure, I will have pain, but in the end, it pays to remember the beauty above all.

  14. This tugged at my heart in so many ways. I want those to be my people too! I have struggled so much lately with people around. Those I thought were good for me and understood me, I now know were not those people at all. But, I also have ones who really, truly understand me for me. And I’m so thankful for them.
    Kimberly recently posted…Live LifeMy Profile

    • I am so sorry you had to go through that tough moment of realization that the people you thought were your people really weren’t your people. It always hurts when that happens. But I am glad that you have those that truly understand. They are gifts.

  15. Haunted. That’s how I feel right after reading this post. There are some very large and very persistent ghosts that creep in, especially when my defenses are down and it can really throw me off my stride. I admire your courage in sharing your own ghost story and declaring what matters most to you. It takes time and strength to be able to push away the people who cause you pain and it seems the universe was reminding you of how far you’ve come to get past it. 🙂
    Maribel recently posted…I’m Over Over-Analyzing CoffeeMy Profile

    • I think one of the key phrases in your comment is about how this is more likely to happen when our defenses are down! The ghosts have a much better chance of creeping in when that happens – as well as the real life naysayers. I don’t ask for much in friendship but the people who get me are the ones I try to keep close.

  16. Like others have said, I want those people in my life too – the ones that get me. I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected lately. Funny how blogging and social media can make you feel connected but at the same time disconnected. Anyhow, I just spent the weekend with my best friend from high school and it was just nice to be with her. Yes, without those people who don’t question or judge, I’m not sure how I would get through!!

    • I am spending the day today with my best friend from first grade and I can’t wait – she knows me and gets me and doesn’t judge. And that makes such a huge difference. It’s funny with blogging and social media – they are wonderful but lack that real life contact that I think is so important to feel fully connected. Not that I negate how important these connections are – but nothing beats real life. Ever.

    • I am so blessed to have you as my people too! Really really blessed! And this dream was so insightful. And so strange to have these two people from my life in one place. Insert twilight zone music here!