I must have forgotten that it was even still on my phone. A silly addition my mother had suggested and since it didn’t take any space and definitely wasn’t worth arguing about, I installed it. Some chat program that would allow me to remain relatively anonymous and yet be able to reach out when the need arose. Leave out the things and only talk about the present. Here and now was all that mattered and if something slipped out, well I could take it from there.
Assuming anyone was on the other end of the line…
While retreating from the world, I had closed it down. The program and me. So it really was a surprise when this afternoon it dinged and let me know there was a message. It had my username, so it wasn’t a fat-finger typed letter that accidentally ended up in my hands.
I can’t recall when it last notified me that someone was trying to reach me. The profile I set up wasn’t great. Truly, I didn’t want to follow through and hoped that if you leave enough “code words” for damaged or I’m here because someone forced me, the icon on my screen would never light up.
One time, in some fit of either loneliness or just longing I had talked to a few people. It didn’t last long, silence on my end can push away anyone who even needed the same thing I was supposed to open myself up for. Just another voice to sometimes drown out the other voices that made me feel lonely in the first place.
When I lived away from all my family, it had been a choice. I needed time. I certainly needed to find me again. My parents told me later they hated the idea of the limits I placed, but they knew I had to do it. Forcing me to act differently wouldn’t have solved anything.
But now this icon still flashes on my phone. This person was brave enough to place a photo for their avatar. Mine is just a sports icon. There’s a way to look up other information without someone knowing. But that feels like an invasion to me. Hiding behind a screen is one thing, tricking someone is something completely different.
Why can’t I just read their message? My profile is very clear about having a terminal illness and that I wasn’t going to make the best choice for someone looking for anything long-term. No dating here, but it didn’t stop me from talking up my dog or like of baseball. [There are details I left out because I didn’t need someone actually finding out who I was in the real world unless I chose that!]
Curiosity has the better of me. I could ignore it. But some part of me sees it like a tap on the shoulder asking a question. I’m not the type of person to turn away. I’m the guy who has no issue holding the door while the entire crowd ushers themselves in while nodding or thanking me. [my parents did a good job with the manners aspect.]
Maybe just a quick look? Could be just a simple hello? A person in the same overall situation needing their voice heard? Lots of good reasons I can think of for this flashing icon.
The only bad one is if I can be what they need or if I’ve tricked myself into thinking there’s nothing for me to offer anymore…