Twice this week, under the slight inebriation of beer, the first and only thought on my mind was how there is nothing I would not mind trading to be completely, fully understood for but a fleeting moment in this long life. I believe most people we know, those we find in life, and those we lose, understand us in parts, in slices and tokens of the entire thing. At least, that is how I have felt all my life—misunderstood on most days and barely understood on others. If I mention this want in front of others, in an overt display of irony, they fail to understand even this and hand me their golden nugget of advice: that my wish is unrealistic, that I should temper my expectations to about seventy per cent, that it is more achievable. I do not blame them, of course, but only out of a habit of shrugging misunderstandings off. A part of me remains furious at how blockheaded people can be at times. But then, there is little you can do. So, I do what anyone would do: take another sip from the pint, shut my trap, and then let the conversation slide into whatever people do understand.
I believe I am partly to blame, after all, for I am never truly myself when I am with other people. It is only when I spend time as I did today as I cleaned the house, managed to finish chores, and stood with my arms on the balcony slab, staring at the sunny day, that I am truly myself. The rest often involves me playing some part of what other people want me to be—little tricks and adjustments I have learned in all these years to get through my days with minimal conflict. Naturally, I feel inadequately understood because the bridge goes both ways. There is nothing I can do with this, of course. I believe I can follow the advice of tempering my expectations after all, but that does not change the fact that I would trade all things I have, and if not all, then most things, to feel a slight second, even in error, of being wholly understood—a pipe dream, wishful thinking, of course. But then again, most wishes seem abstract until they somehow come true, do they not?