Chapter 3: ‘Bramance’

“It’s all one big misunderstanding…and since everyone else is just so fake-polite, living up to their expectations is a waste of time.”

Jamie looked at her next-door neighbor as they walked.  Michelle’s shapely silhouette looked nice against the sunset backdrop, but her brow was troubled. The last three weeks especially had been jarring.  Every topic Michelle would bring up felt burdensome.

“Peterism?”

“Yes” said Michelle. “Peter said that: one of his more articulate observations.”  Jamie felt uneasy.  She looked up towards the waterfront and squinted.   “Still…”  They kept making their way towards the wharf.  At least the beautiful dusk light made up for the tension. “All I know is this place in my life keeps making me feel like a failure: always got to work twice as hard to prove myself in anything” Michelle considered.  “I’m sorry, there it is again” she added after a moment of awkward silence.  “I told you to call me out when I get like this.”

“No, stop downplaying” Jamie corrected her hastily. She spotted a pebble on the ground and started kicking it playfully like a soccer ball as they continued. “We have a right to complain.”

“Yeah, but I just don’t want to start to sound like Cassandra.”

“You’re not even close.  Look at what you do.”

Michelle grinned at her friend.  Thankfully, somebody was sometimes there to encourage her even when she would deny herself the right.  She couldn’t help thinking what the hell was wrong with herself.  “This only happens when I’ve surrounded myself long enough with them” Michelle continued.  “With their dumb life guard sweaters and interrogating procedures. And the sad part is that I think I already know why I get like this.  I have the tools, but I’m letting myself fall into the trick.  I mean, if I listen to the New Wavers, I find myself going insane with distrust about everything: everyone who thinks different than them, and then every stupid thing going on in the world I don’t fully understand — and soon I start to ask these stupid questions over and over until I have to fight a battle inside my own head.”

Jamie kicked the pebble too hard and it was about to fall into a ditch, but Michelle stretched out her leg and stopped it.   Almost too fast.  Faster than Jamie would have expected.

“Wow. Amazing reflexes” she said to Michelle with astonishment.  I think my mind had a glitch there.  You did just stretch out your leg faster than… how did that just happen?”

Michelle looked uncomfortable.  “Maybe your wiring is screwing up too” she suggested.     “Naw… I just saw…”    “I’d rather not daydream things right now, if I could be honest.”

Jamie looked at her friend.  No questions asked.  Nodding, she tried to relax a bit.  “Yeah, but anyway, you were saying?  Something about the New Wavers ”    “Yeah, their unforgiving attitude”

“Yeah, I don’t know; I just feel this unforgiveness alienates us towards each other even more.   It’s just not functional.”

Jamie smiled.  She couldn’t always grasp everything Michelle was saying, but as she considered the mood, she could feel an ‘exit’ coming along.  She called these conversations ‘exits’ in her head because they felt like an invisible escape from her own stresses. These talks always made everything around her lighter.  She couldn’t always understand why it felt safer like this, but it didn’t matter.  Better than medication. This was one among many reasons why she loved Michelle.  Still, Jamie could feel her own anxieties robbing her of the moment: the scenery was so perfect here that she found herself worried the conversation could take a an even more heavy-handed turn.

“If we really feel that strong about something, we shouldn’t emulate those things we claim we hate” Michelle continued.

“You’re talking about Kara’s conversation this afternoon?”

“Exactly: you know, it’s funny.  I feel like history is repeating itself –if what my aunt told me was true twenty years ago.  They were facing the same dumb dilemma: social justice getting all out of whack. Only this time, I have to wonder if…I just…”

Michelle trailed off. She seemed troubled about something else.  “Anyway” she went on.  “The whole ‘blame’ a whole group of people for something over again is just…insane to me.  Especially after what has happened in the last twenty years.  The separated sectors of the country crumbling up should tell everyone something.  The section on the other side of the planet that’s been ‘invaded’: nobody really knows what the hell is really going on there.  Nobody goes in any of these places any more, nobody can ever tell what’s happening out there either. It’s like these little ‘event horizons’ exist everywhere.  It’s so unsettling.  And yet instead of trying to underst— so many people still insist on pitting some generalization of people to blame.”

“White males.”

“Yeah” Michelle continued.

“It’s insane.  Repeat and destroy everything even more once again.  Let’s just keep generalizing.”  They decided to cut through a meadow of ferns that the trail circumvented around.  It was also very grassy, and both girls kept slapping their legs for any bugs latching on to them, but the path saved them a few minutes so they could catch the sunset better.

“Do I hate white males with all their privilege?” Michelle wondered as she slapped her shins a few times.  “Or do I really just hate douchebags that abuse power?”

That evening they had planned a long dusk walk towards the Marina to gather their thoughts. They were both graduates from Orange University, a prestigious school that had just opened up near Brown by the clean underground salvation project district, and lucking out they found available adjacent rooms at the Boatyard and had become close friends as they liked talking about philosophy together.  Actually, Michelle more than Jamie, but while Jamie at first tolerated these talks, she gradually learned to appreciate them more and more — she had grown to find Michelle unbelievably fascinating.   The two young women also happened to be some of the few ‘new’ members of the Boatyard that did not fully agree with all these ‘witch hunts’ that were going on – especially Michelle who was not happy about what happened.

“I don’t know: the New Wavers think I’m selling out, and it’s offensive” Michelle continued.  “As if I didn’t understand their claims already: being treated like a child half the time by some people because I don’t have the same male status as someone like Peter; ok I get that.  How having to prove myself all the time is such a burden to always have to overcome before you can even carry out any job.  They even heard my story last summer: I never got the same breaks as my brother.  Same DNA, same background, but he got the full-time gig.  He got his career right away, but I would never blame him for that.”

“I would have taken that job too” Jamie admitted. “But you’ve been doing so well. It’s worked out for the better! Besides, your brother doesn’t really like his job. Look at all you’ve accomplished since then.”

Michelle smiled at the encouragement. “My point is, how does wallowing in the unfairness we all face in our own way change reality?  How do you then then justify people who overcome adversity?  The New Wavers don’t seem to consider that. They seem to get pissed at anyone like that because then it goes against their agenda.  I can understand that feeling of wanting to resist change, so I don’t blame them.  But I would rather try to live in the stratosphere than in the dirt; rising out of the ashes.”   As the two girls kept heading towards the Marina, they could hear the gravel of the pathway they  rejoined crunch under their feet.   More crickets could be heard, and the atmosphere brought comfort to these troubling thoughts.  Between that and Michelle’s way of articulating the thoughts that Jamie was trying to fight out of her head, the ‘exit’ was feeling bigger in her mind.

“I have to expand –and believe I have the power to smile at the odds, or I’ll just feel resentful and powerless. I know it will just feel that much better when I reach that place.  I don’t want to be a tyrant either when I get there.  I think that’s the mistake most of us make; why the cycle never ends.”  Jamie had to smile.  She wished more people could tap into whatever Michelle tapped into to get these motivational thoughts.

“At any rate, the New Waver’s philosophies don’t really empower me” Michelle went on. “They just make me remain wallowing in a shit state. Sadly, none of these people have the tools to get out of the rut, I don’t know; I just feel that now by their reasoning, they just shun anyone with work ethic that reminds them of what they hate about the system.   But see, those are the same tools we need to get out of our rut.”

“What — the greed and selfishness you mean.”  “No, the skills I mean.  And we keep driving away the people that were actually keeping our rent low because of these confusing agendas.”  Jamie knew what she was referring to.  Ever since the place had been overrun by the new kids, the real artists had all left to start their own businesses elsewhere.  “If I listen to the New Wavers” Michelle continued. “I never get anywhere with these issues either: nothing ever changes. Anyway, I think Cassandra should have rephrased her question: does she really hate white men, or does she really just hate assholes regardless of what they look like?”

“Good point” said Jamie.  Now she was trying to keep up with her friend as Michelle rapidly led the way towards the end of the dock.  Michelle really didn’t want to miss the sunset. “I’ve come to feel like all this drama is holding me back. Not just me, but everyone; everyone that walks this planet.  It’s a trick: thinking like this robs me of living this day to its fullest. Is there any benefit to wasting energy like this?”

“I don’t know.”

“I don’t know who tricked me into inspiring hating so much, but it does me nothing.  It’s really just robbed me of so much energy.”  Michelle went on to explain her theory about energy transfer in more detail. “If they cared so much, they would have had enough wits to remind me we’d be better off forgiving; regenerating.  Maybe they could have explained compassion too: that we’re all too busy trying to survive than hear each other out.”

There she went on again; Michelle should have been a motivational speaker.  Jamie didn’t always understand what Michelle was saying, but the spring to Jamie’s step was starting to lighten again; something about her magic words.

“I swear, as soon as I remember these things, everything gets more laid back” Michelle continued. “A weight sort of lifts.  I don’t have an anxious mind, the world doesn’t seem so weary.”  She mumbled something under her breath as they walked.  “Do not live so you’re in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, ever sure of your life. Then, you’ve missed the point.”

Jamie turned to her friend. “What was that from?”

“I don’t know; something one of my aunts would say.  But it seems fitting.  But freaking Cassandra; always making me doubt myself, as if she had any answers.”  Michelle could feel herself giving into a state of frustration she didn’t fully understand.  She wished she wouldn’t so often, because she already knew the dark outcome, but she let herself feel it anyway.

“Ha, I even dated one” she mumbled impishly. “I know, such a dumb thing to say, but things like these squabbles at the Boatyard drive me to be an idiot. It feels like it’s the only way to cope with feeling like I’m not at odds  with some of the New Wavers.”

“Wait.  You dated one?  What are you taking about?  What one?”

“A white guy” Michelle answered, and Jamie had to grin.  “Andrew, I mean. I know I’m sounding…whatever.  My point is,  it’s been a few years now. He wasn’t that bad.”

“Yes he was” Jamie reminded her. “That’s what you said.”

Michelle shrugged.  “I’ll admit it; his smooth white skin; blah blah blah – or ironically, that’s how Cassandra would describe him. But no, he wasn’t such a bad guy.  Luckily, he never seemed to fit the stereotype I keep hearing about every white guy from the girls these days.  Hell, even if I really felt like that, he felt the same way about my skin.   Maybe that’s progressive.”

Jamie actually laughed out loud.  “I really don’t know; I’m getting all confused” she said.

What a beautiful evening it was though: the crickets were everywhere, the birds chirping as well, and the reeds all around the bay swaying softly in the cool wind. Despite every natural disaster that had been happening in the world during the last two months, the northeast seemed to be thankfully spared from calamity.  If media had never existed, and job security wasn’t such a burden, Michelle would have thought this to be one of the most blissfully beautiful summers ever – even with the unusually bright red dusk skies. She loved this spot: they were at the docks in the Marina near the Boatyard.  There was this one spot at the edge of a dock protruding a few hundred feet into the bay that for some reason, this time of year smelled of lilac flowers.

As they listened to the tankers bellow out their horns beyond the bay, Michelle continued sharing with her friend how she was all for the equality movement going on in the Boathouse, until she realized this had started to get a out of control.  Many guys did suck out there.  They were brash and they were crass, and if it wasn’t for guys like their close male friends, Michelle would have probably learned to hate the sheer insensitivity that most men had: at least the ones that had walked this earth that she could see all around her.   But she knew it was a slippery slope.  She had confessed with Jamie how she felt people weren’t ultimately dark and mean spirited because they were men – or women necessarily.  It was more the fact that they were that way because they were dark in the first place.

“What causes people to become so dark?  I can’t really explain it so much” Michelle added.  “But it’s as I said, something doesn’t sit right.  I feel like now everyone’s victimizing people with accusations that aren’t even accurate.  I only got to hear Alisha and Paul’s side of the story. But they were the one’s interrogating Peter.  Justice should be impartial.  But I know Peter: I know him enough where he in actuality isn’t a bad guy.”  Jamie did not reply.  It seemed she wanted to say something refrained from doing it.

“I mean, he had never said anything deliberately misogynistic to me” Michelle continued. She kicked off her sandals and Jamie bent over to untie her shoes. “I mean, sometimes we argue, sure, but it wasn’t mean spirited.  It’s like; people can claim you’re mean if they themselves are too sensitive, no?”  No answer. “It’s like we just keep finding flaws with each other until we create even bigger ones and there’s nothing left.”

Jamie was trying to hear her friend out, but as she absorbed the scenery around her, she wished they weren’t talking about this: it was so nice on this dock. “I don’t follow” she finally said flatly.

“Do we have to walk on eggshells just because everyone is so brittle?” Michelle tried to explain. “Now it’s like we’re being accused of having thick skin as privileged shit again.  Which makes no sense because…”   Jamie had to smile despite the fact she wished Michelle wasn’t so serious all the time.

“Look, I’ve talked to Alisha: she’s uber-sensitive.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.”  Michelle went on to explain how she and Peter would debate about politics once in a while, but if she didn’t agree with Peter’s views, she would get get enraged more than some of the others in the Boathouse. The New Wavers hated the way he talked.  But to be fair: Peter was at least willing to hear other people’s thoughts and process them, even if he didn’t always initially agree.  And he certainly wasn’t manipulating – at least as much as his accusers were trying to drum him about. Jamie nodded politely, but she didn’t seem to be processing anything, ironically.  Michelle grinned at her, somewhat understandably.  She could tell something was weighing on her.

“What is it?”

“It’s nothing” Jamie grunted back.

“No, come on, what?”  It was clear Jamie didn’t want to ruin the moment. But as she stopped over the dock to stare at a strange corral shaped object in the water, she finally blurted it out:

“I just don’t like… I feel like we’re all thinking about this shit all the time now.  Anyway, Peter’s manipulating –or  maybe not.  But he certainly can be a dick though; even I’m not going to defend that.”

“I’m not saying anyone has to” Michelle agreed.

“He likes to create arguments” Jamie insisted. “Kara’s noticed it.  I’m not saying I generally agree with her.  To be fair, I’ve noticed it too: when it comes to a talk, it’s not about exchanging ideas with him, it’s about being right.”

“But have you all ever listened to what he is trying to impress?”  Michelle suggested. “I don’t know. I think the intent he pushes really is to get one’s shit together.  It’s not always pretty, but it works.”

“But you believe that’s it?”

Michelle looked at the lilacs around her and tried to escape her mind from the weariness of having these conversations as well. “Be honest: what has all of this campaigning gotten us? I used to listen to them more, only to realize one day I was waking up every day pre-meditating what I was going to be upset about that day – it just gets crippling! I acknowledge that reality sucks sometimes…but then finding a way to change that reality — is the only way to come to grips with what I need to do”

“I’m divided, I guess” Jamie admitted.

“How so?”

“Rita always says there’s two types of people.  Those in power and the oppressed.  No one gives a shit about them.”

“I know; sadly, people don’t. At least the more subtle cases..”

“Well – I guess her point is that we’re just feeding into it if we don’t defend what they’re saying…”

“I’ve never fully disagreed with what the New Wavers are saying: I’ve only disagreed with the way some of the club officers come across.  It’s not even about equality with half of them.  They give the rest of us a bad name.  Cassandra, for instance —”

“But she’s still right” Jamie insisted. “I can’t deny her point that people never recognize all we’ve had to suffer from being these second-class citizens.  I don’t do enough of it. We need to speak up for ourselves!”

“I understand” Michelle said growing somewhat frustrated. “I mean, I get it. I really do.  Maybe I should phrase it like this: what has it done for me?  I get being someone who has less privilege. I do truly support what she’s saying: A voice for the people that are marginalized.  Those who have less of a voice in society.  I get that.  But, regardless, if everyone finally were to listen to your gospel once and for all.  Is just listening to the idea going to change all of this?”

“Well, Rita says ‘It keeps people informed. It lets others realize there’s an injustice’.”

“I get that. But this is what I finally have come to realize: suppose everyone marginalized truly had a voice.  Now what?”

“What do you mean?”

“What now?  I mean, even I recognize life’s unfair.  So what?  It sucks, I get that? But…”

“It’s about treating humans with respect.  That’s all we ask: a stage to want to hear their personal stories.  That’s really what it boils down too, I guess.”

Great point.  And Jamie knowing she had impressed her in this debate felt absurdly pleased with herself.  Repeating all the things she could remember about Kara’s teachings, she continued to point to Michell all the flaws in the current world – forgetting that they had had this discussion many times before.   Michelle picked up a flower floating on the water and started to pick at it.

“If we truly lived in an ideal world” Michelle considered “we’d have friends and family that filled that role” she said with a sniff. “Maybe that’s the messed up part. We assume general society to parent us in a way it doesn’t seem equipped to….hell, I don’t know. I couldn’t just share my personal stories with strangers like that.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m just being realistic. I feel like here’s the ugly truth about it all: we should look out for each other, but as a society nobody really cares about each other’s personal stories” Michelle added, and she couldn’t hide her sad eyes when she said it. “At any rate, we’re too busy just trying to stay alive – I guess sometimes we have to accept that’s as good as it gets.”

“So you disagree with some of your own logic?”

“No, I mean, I think economics… ah, never mind right now.  Look; I disagree with the fact that recognition alone does not change reality. Hard work to create a reality you want  is the only way I know to breathe without something feeling like  the world is choking me.”

“But the system is rigged!” exclaimed Jamie.  “I think that’s some of the New Waver’s point.  How do we get people to listen?  Is someone like Kara then really so crazy? Like you were saying: I’m never taken seriously because it feels like I don’t have credibility — because I’m a woman.  It’s true that’s how I feel when I try to talk about these topics with half the guys I know. The incredible frustration knowing that your words aren’t enough…”  Her voice trailed off.  If there was one thing Jamie hated about all this was that Michelle could sometimes be a robot.  And she had gotten caught in her own trap: she knew what Michelle was going to say in response, so she braced herself and decided to cut her off:  “Sometimes it feels like if a man says the exact same thing in his own way… it is taken more seriously…it’s taken as truth.”

“All men or just alphas?”

“Now you’re just trying to counter-counter everything I say.”

“Not true!” said Michelle.  Jamie knew she had her there: she could feel Michelle’s regret.  “And who’s saying you don’t have credibility?”

“The system.” “Let me ask you this: have you heard Peter’s personal story?”

“No”

“Well, do you want to hear Peter’s personal story?”

“No…. “

“Ok, please tell me if I’m wrong: I completely understand Kara’s point of view – when she’s not letting herself get completely enraged in her frustration – but I swear, that’s what sets everything back.”

“What, Kara?”

“No, not just her, every one of them! That indignant attitude.  That attitude so many of the New Wavers have when they themselves become victims of not checking their own egos.   But I get it!  Kara, Valentino, Rita, all of them:  they’re pissed we don’t live in a world where we don’t validate people’s personal experiences –”

“So what’s so wrong about that?” Jamie interrupted. Michelle threw her arms up in frustration.  Jamie immediately regretted triggering her like that.

“What?  I’m sorry!”

“No, it’s ok…Sorry?  Why are you sorry? You don’t need to be. It’s just…”

“No, I’m sorry, I cut off your thought.”

“It’s just that —let me phrase it the way Harry and I were talking yesterday: I’ve come to realize that the world unfortunately regulates on different mechanics.  At least for me: no matter how I want reality to change, I would have to have the same tools of logic as those who rule the world. But course, everyone in Kara’s circle wouldn’t want to believe that…I tried to explain it to them and they think I’m a traitor.  But it doesn’t matter.  I get it though:  bankers not signing me a note.  People looking down on men having feminist qualities, the infamous ‘pink tax’ when men’s luxury products aren’t taxed as high.  Women expected to have emotion to detail on the job without getting paid extra.   It’s draining — it’s such hypocrisy.”  Jamie hesitated.

“What is it?” asked Michelle.

“So you would agree Peter can be an insensitive asshole.”

“I never said he couldn’t!  But in terms of survival, it’s about efficiency at the same time.  I feel like the balance is in the middle. Shit, it shouldn’t have to be that hard.  All I know is that, if I’m ever going to get things done for myself, I’ll never make things happen through hanging out with them.”

“With who?”

“The New Wavers I’m saying!” Michelle reminded her.  “They’re almost extremists.  They take the victim blaming to the extremes, but none of them ever motivated me to learn how the hell to get out of this rut I’m feeling while they keep bombarding me with reminders about how unfair life is. It doesn’t matter if I’m right – if they’re right, I mean: those assholes with the power will still control all the power over me in my life.  It’s as if somebody up there with higher power was afraid they didn’t want us to be more self-aware.  Maybe Peter’s conspiracy theories are right: somehow, afraid some of us thinking like them.  So they create this confusion, and nothing seems to change. Anyway, with the New Wavers:  I put so much focus on the unideal that I have no energy left to materialize what little destiny I could for myself.  Glad they weren’t around during med school.”

“How so?”

“I would have never believed I had the ability to study the way I had if I was such a victim. Anyway, years in med school had to teach me something about life: nowhere in biology does it show that self-entitlement ever gets me results.”

She thought about Peter’s predicament while she stared at the water: she thought about the meeting that caused him to get kicked out.  Technically he wasn’t even white.  He was Hispanic. He was sometimes intimidating because of his demeanor.  And maybe he was physically larger than others, but not by much.  And not certainly more than some of the other guys (and girls) in the Boatyard.   “I guess having that body mass to create a commanding presence, as some of the overseers had accused him of was a privilege” thought Michelle.   But then again, he hit the gym every day.  How did she know?  Because she had seen him there every day. It’s what sort of made her slightly attracted to him in the first place. He was sort of disciplined. She wasn’t so sure about Lionel.  Michelle relaxed for a moment and let the crickets bring her back to a state of peace.  No sense brooding so much when it’s at the expense of the living present. Strange though; the crickets were chirping differently than she remembered.

“I’m glad I live here though” reasoned Jamie. She too was trying her best to bring back the moment. They had reached the edge of the dock protruding into the farthest reach above the water, and she didn’t want to ruin any more of this evening with negativity. “At least here on this dock I can still engage in an intellectual discussion about the ugly history of this country and feel like a million bucks” she joked.

Jamie looked at her friend standing alongside her: Michelle was studying the sunset behind peninsula on the other side of the bay. Despite the heavy-handed talk, they both had incredible resilience. Jamie  focused on the nature around her. Soon after a moment, it was as if the talk had never happened; the scene out here had washed it all away. Jamie loved moments like this: so beautiful and pristine. And her damn friend standing next to her: damning because she was damning expectations that Michelle wasn’t obligated to have. Where was the line between depth and freedom? Damn her friend.  That long black wavy hair of Michelle’s: something about it, and that cute button nose. Michelle’s dark cape Verdean skin glistened in the dusk light, but she looked lost in thought again.  Jamie sighed. She appreciated her friend too much to not be supportive for her.  “What do you really think of all this then?”

Michelle said nothing.  She just continued to stare at the sunset.  She closed her eyes, exhaled, and followed with a deep sigh. “I don’t even know.  I don’t know what to make of reality sometimes.  It feels like this whole year, all of us have been existentially tried somehow.” To their upper right, the sky was emitting an unusually dull glow of red behind the clouds.  That was peculiar.  It was faint enough to barely be noticeable unless one stared.  The sunset was in front of them.   Michelle noticed the hair on her arms feel static.

“Weather patterns” she mumbled. “Or visual hallucinations again.  I keep seeing these spots in my eyes ever since the riot.”

“Yeah, weather patterns” said Jamie.  “And riots. At least it’s people unlike the ones we know actually trying to do something about it.”   Damnit she thought: she was ruining the mood again.  But Michelle smiled, and seemed to be appreciating the continued spirit of the discussion.

“All I know is that this year, everything has been so trying in body and soul for me, and it’s not just in my relationships” she mused. “You know; it feels like a cosmic thing: everyone I’ve met who is self-aware enough has been confessing the same thing: it’s not just the weather patterns.  They tell me they feel like the universe is stripping away everything they thought they knew about their comforts.  It’s like some cosmic force is forcing everyone toto do an about turn and question everything.  It’s been very painful. Ironically, Peter was one of the best people to talk to about this stuff.  I still can’t reach him.”

“Well where is he?”

“Cheryl won’t tell.  She told me he needs some alone time.”

“She still has his new phone contact information” Jamie reminded her. “I don’t know about Lionel’s.  Has anybody else tried to reach him?”

“I don’t know” Michelle said wearily again. “I see everybody’s point of view.  It’s just that I can’t keep wondering something.”

“What’s that?”

“I guess I’m just saying: what if we lived in a world where if shit happened to us, we wouldn’t let it affect us for  so many  weeks?  I mean, it’s been six weeks.  People still aren’t speaking to each other – or you can just sense the tension when you walk into the Boatyard.  You’d think people would have lightened up by now. I thought we were supposed be more enlightened than this. Are we still so traumatized because we are mourning the loss of Lionel and Kirsten out of the company?  Or are we traumatized because so many people here live in this perpetual state of fear and paranoia, because we’ve made ourselves these watchdogs of social justice.”

“Social justice slightly twisted, you mean” Jamie admitted.

“Yes!  I think that’s exactly what I mean” Michelle agreed.  She stared at her friend and studied her for a moment.  Before her stood a lanky anglo-young woman with her dark reddish brown hair tied in a bun.  She was so good natured.  Shy almost: with an unintimidating build and aura about her; but pretty nonetheless – and aimed to please.  A tanker nearby that was coming out of Providence bellowed its horn.  “I’m trying to…express what I keep feeling” Michelle explained to Jamie.  For a second, Michelle appeared visibly lost.

“Still thinking about those dreams?”

Michelle looked away. “Don’t worry about it” she reassured Jamie.  “But yeah, I hate this feeling.  I feel this anxiety  just starts spreading out onto everything left that’s good.  I don’t fear pain: I know it when I can sense it, and I can sure as hell fight it.  I fear confusion.  It’s like a mantle engulfs all over me and nothing I do has the same passion.

“Everyone’s upset, no one heals fast enough” Michelle continued.  Jamie was feeling awkward – only because she didn’t know what else to say.  She hated how the ‘incident’  was effecting everything. “I’ll say this; you’re not selfish” Jamie said with sincerity. “You really do want to understand reason.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I never hear anybody able to talk like you.”  Michelle smiled back and blushed, but looked away.  “Except poor Peter, remember?” she said with a grin.  Poor Peter.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 3: ‘Bramance’”

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