Strangely Worded Conversations!
I talk to myself a lot, l mean a lot! I could write a book on the art of talking to yourself and l think it would probably be a huge tome, a massive War & Peace styled volume of words! In addition to the conversations l have with people, with my blog, with you, with email, with email friends and so on, l on occasion have very strange conversations or strangely worded conversations with my mother!
One of these was only yesterday – for those who read yesterday’s Morning Musings you will know l told my mother yesterday about Suze and l ………… parting? I hesitate there as that is the second conversation of this post. There are only two, so worry not, this is a small post!
My mother was upset, but happy that we were still to be friends ‘Friends are more important Rory, l remember telling you that when you were 17, do you remember?” I answered with yes, however l wasn’t 17 l was 13. “Oh they are just numbers darling when you get to my age, all numbers are the same.”
My mother is 80 this year, and whilst l can understand the sentiment that ‘all numbers are just numbers’ she used, or even ‘you are only as old as the person you feel’ as others use, numbers are a language all of their own and shouldn’t be confused with worded languages as in words. Numbers are different to words and whilst we can write numbers using letters with words, numbers are still numbers and not words most assuredly. Just ask a numerologist or a mathematician, a data analyst.
Numbers people are quite often very detailed people. Wordy people are either writers or philosophers and thinkers are usually the same as the latter except in reverse written order. I love numbers as much as l love words – not the value of numbers in the traditional sense or the path of conventionality oh no, l love the seduction of numbers. But that is perhaps another conversation elsewhere in time .
Back to my mother – once we got through the usual conversation pieces of life – her health, her health and her health, my uncommunicative sister, her men worries, joys and troubles … her sexuality [yes you read that right] we then discussed the situation between Suze and l and that would l cope? Yes of course l will. How will you cope with no sex?
My mother and l have always been candid or so she tells me … she often forgets that the reality of her candid and my candid and ‘our candids’ are quite often selective. Only recently as in last month did she suddenly declare that l ‘was now old enough’ to be told about certain things! Now bear in mind l recently acquired the age of 57 and here was my mother telling her first born that he was old enough to hear certain things about her sexuality. She never asked if l wanted to discuss her sexuality.
But sex is sex, there is good sex, great sex, bad sex, terrible sex, but sex is sex, there is discovery sex, explorative sex and aged, learned and wise sex – there is philosophical sex, there is old sex. Then there is sensuality, sexuality, fetish, kink and kinky, voyeurism and the list is endless … and l can talk about sex all day every day because of my passion for it and it was a hobby for many years as well as in part a career …. and of all the sexes l can talk about freely or even candidly … there are some sexes l don’t need to know … or want to know! Hearing about the sex life of my 80 year old mother was … interesting and fascinating … but l didn’t need to know!
So when she suddenly asked me ‘How will you cope with no sex?’ l admittedly was taken slightly aback, but answered honestly. “Well, sex isn’t everything mum, friendship is more important and as much as l love the wet patch of an encounter, one does have to remember ‘safe sex and even more importantly safely distanced sex’ So sure sex would be nice, but dying is a bit of a downer so l will probably sort myself out until it’s safe for someone else to handle it. I think there is an interesting question for 24 Hours there in the future!
“Well of course, you can probably still have sex with Suze then?” She asked, “Suze could be a friend with benefits!” Admittedly l wasn’t expecting this from my mother … “Yes, maybe so mum, maybe so … time will tell.” It was easier to answer this way over that of a complex conversation.
The conversation shifted then onto living on my own again … would l be ok? Yes of course, l am at my own concession a bit of a loner and so l can cope more than enough with my own company … l have never had a problem with that. The ‘Caravan Years’ taught me many lessons and of the many, living alone was one such talking to yourself conversation’. I said that my Asperger’s and the ability to both detach as well as manage my own company was almost like a second skinned nature to me.
There was a long pause on the phone … weirdly longer than a mere pregnant pause. After a minute l ventured ‘Mum, are you there?” To be answered with … “Yes darling …. are you still saying that to people then?”
“Saying what to people mum?”
“That you have ………… autism?”
“Well l don’t run around the neighbourhood yelling out at the top of my voice that l have autism, no … but people do know this about me of course!”
“Right and you believe this is the case then?”
“What do you mean, ‘do l believe this is the case?’ l was formerly diagnosed in 2008, l have ”officially been out if you wish ”” since then, so 12 years … but l knew long before that things weren’t right.”
“Well how long have you had this then?”
“Erm, well since birth mum – look l did tell you this back in 2008.”
“Oh yes l know that but l didn’t believe you then and l am not sure l believe you now, how come l didn’t know .. l mean l carried you for 9 months, l gave birth to you … l think l would have known, don’t you? Next you’ll be saying l don’t know my own son?”
“Well in truth mum, you can’t know ALL of me and my life, l left home at 20, and was already working away from home at 18 … l would be very much surprised if you knew everything l have done with my life .. there are things l have told you and things l haven’t. But more importantly – you wouldn’t have known in 63 whether your son was an Aspergian or not.”
I prepared myself for some long hostile conversation concerning autism … l have had a few of these over the last 12 years with her and after a while they prove tiresome. “Well okay, if you think you are and you seem to believe it l guess you are …. but personally l blame your father!” “Well closer than you might know mum, but let’s not forget about my bipolar which comes from your side of the family …..?” “No, this conversation is over darling, we need not discuss any more. It’s been lovely to hear from you, very positive, sad to hear about Suze and you splitting up, but well you are as l have said quite recently – quite grown up now. Bye.”
Strangely worded conversations indeed … but something that was briefly mentioned during my mother’s phone call was the terminology used to describe two people parting and also that afternoon, when Suze returned home and l told her that l had told my mother .. she asked what phrase l had used?
“I said we were seperating but remaining friends, why?” “So you said seperating then?” “Yes, why, is that NOT right?” “No, that’s fine, l say to people we are parting our relationship but remaining friends.” “Is there a difference then?” I asked a little confused by the conversation. “Well l just find the word ‘splitting up’ so final.” “But we are splitting up aren’t we? We are splitting up and remaining friends … l mean, l should simply say we are splitting up over separating in truth – because well, seperating might be read by some as getting back together whereas splitting up, does seem final.”
“Well yes we are, but we are still a couple inside the house.” Suze responded. “Yes, but are we not friends within the house and just no longer a relationed couple? I mean we decided as adults so therefore it’s not like our relationship is on the rocks, it was never really rocky .. it was one day early in lockdown, you decided that you wanted your independence and wanted to live by yourself and without me , your partner under the same roof?”
“Oh l don’t know what the term is, but l am just telling people we are ‘parting’ but remaining friends – but l guess it’s all just words.” Suze said and the conversation ended. But on this morning’s walk you can’t help but go over these ‘strangely worded conversations’ we have as people and think … it’s never ‘just words’ is it?”
Till the next time – thanks for reading.