Waiting

X is anxious, he tells me. Why is he anxious? he asks me. He’s waiting for someone he loves or fears or couldn’t care less about, he doesn’t know yet, it doesn’t matter, he says. Someone who causes him anxiety as he waits for reasons not entirely clear to him, someone who’s making his life a waiting moment, taking his time. Any stern or comforting words I might have for him won’t do him any good, he says, but of course you don’t anyway. It’s this anxiety, all his life it’s followed him like someone else’s shadow, he says. What comes first, he wonders, anxiety or loss? What’s it really like to wait? Do people really know what it’s like? It seems important to him to pin it down with words, his words. It’s like losing something you’ve already lost, he says, answering his own question, ‘being at a loss’. Don’t tell me to relax and ‘go with the flow’, X says, just don’t. I’ve already let it go, no, it’s let me go, it runs through my fingers, what is it this ‘it’? You can only let go of something you have already, and I can’t hold onto anything. Am I letting go or holding on? he asks. I’m afraid to let go, but it’s already gone out of me, he says. Ridiculous situation! he says. Why am I even here, time’s wasting and I don’t even know who I’m waiting for or what I’m so afraid of, he says. That’s the problem, he says, looking me straight in the eye now, we haven’t got to know each other yet. We were supposed to meet here, and now I’m not sure, he says. This waiting for someone who’s always late, for something that always keeps me waiting, how I hate it! he says.

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