“No, Henry, you live every day like yesterday was your last.”
It was meant more as an amused observation than a criticism, yet still it wounded me.
I often replay conversations in my head, always far too late realizing
what I should have said, instead of whatever useless vapor actually
escaped my lips in the moment. Yet, even almost a year later in this
case, I can't come up with any better response than “No, you're wrong!”
or “So?!” My actual response—a weak smile and silent nod—probably served
as well as anything else I might muster. Perhaps I might have reminded
her that she had only known me but fewer than ten scarcely overlapping
days in our lives, and the most recent had been more than five years
ago, so she was in no position to be drawing conclusions concerning my
person. But, truth is, she was right, partly so, and I think I recognized it even at the time, though maybe I couldn't quite comprehend it.
You should have slowly and quietly said, "No." Then, after pausing to consider the futility of all those lost years and buried hopes, and realizing the depth of the anguish in your heart, using your deepest voice, you should have uttered a monumental groan of "Nooooooooo!" And then you rush over, lift her above your head, and toss her into the nearest microwave.
Yeah, that would have shown her.
If only we could all go George Lucas on our lives....
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