“You shouldn’t worry so much about someone who is thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, you know. It’s not as if you can really do anything practical for them, after all — well, except listen to them ramble on in ever-decreasing self-obsessed circles.”
I thought about replying with a bout of dismissive swearing. I’ve been swearing a lot recently. More than normal. My language appears to be transforming into a polluted cesspit of expletives. But I didn’t swear; no, I just let the following aggravated response run through my head.
“What do you know, anyway? You don’t even understand what you’re talking about. Why shouldn’t I do this if I choose? It’s my decision.”
In my head, I think I was stamping my feet like a horrid child.
In turn, the words somehow came out of my mouth like this (which, I decided, was probably rather more acceptable between friends):
“But I quite like listening to you ramble. Really, I do. It’s reassuring. Even if you are being sickeningly self-obsessed. And if I can’t listen to people who are right next to me, because they don’t seem to be communicating or I don’t seem to be communicating or … then I can listen to you via the wonders of the internet, can’t I? I won’t say anything useful, of course.”
“You never do.” There was a smiley on the end of that sentence, just to reassure me. I need reassurance quite often, being excessively paranoid.
After a pause: “Listen. Can I tell you something?”