I am sitting listening to an amazingly powerful thunderstorm going on outside my windows. Even though it has been raining a lot lately (pretty much all last week) I feel like tonight’s thunderstorm is well needed.
I saw my friend Jimmy Whispers on the train today. Jimmy Whispers and I have been friends for a about 5 years, introduced by a mutual friend and bonded by a 38 minute commute home from work. Jimmy is the Mr. Snuffleupagus to my Big Bird. Do you remember Mr. Snuffleupagus? For years, everyone on Sesame Street thought that Snuffy (Big Bird’s nickname for him) was Big Bird’s imaginary friend because no one had ever seen him. That is Jimmy.
I’ve invited Jimmy everywhere, happy hours, movies, dinners, my sister even invited him to my surprise 30th B-day party (in which he almost ruined the surprise) and he has never attended any of them. None of my friends (with the exception of the one that introduced us) or family members have ever met him. My sister refers to him as the Unicorn Man of the Rivertowns, simply because no one has seen a unicorn either. For years I’ve tried to prove Jimmy’s existence to those around me, telling them anecdotes of my commutes with Mr. Whispers, conversations we’ve had, or the rare occasion we would get to have a cup of coffee together (which would be some of my favorite mornings).
Often Jimmy was the first person I would talk to in the mornings and the last one I’d hear from before going to bed at night. If Mr Whispers saw me getting off the train in the morning, by the time I’d get to work I’d have a text from him telling me I looked pretty, or he liked my shoes (no, he isn’t gay.). When I would beat myself up over something not working in my life be it something at work, home, or especially my weight, Jimmy had a kind word to make me feel better. Compared to most of the other men who have drifted in and out of my life the past few years, Jimmy is probably the one who has been the most consistent. Jimmy Whispers, my invisible fake boyfriend.
Jimmy is a word man, he is great with texts and emails and even on the phone, but when it is time to step up to the plate, Jimmy can’t deliver on his promises. I’ve talked to him about it, fought with him about it, and even want to throw things at him because of it. For what ever reason, Jimmy will never show up for happy hour, a slice of pizza, or a birthday party. The sad thing is, he is missing out on so much. So many opportunities for good times, meeting new people, making new friends, and of course spending time with me (obviously the best reason of all!).
As much as I care about my friendship with Jimmy, this makes me incredibly frustrated and very angry with him. I want to grab him and shake some sense in to him but it won’t work (plus he’s way taller than me so logistically I don’t think I could do it). In my frustration with the situation, I become some one I don’t like. I become snippy, mean, and curt towards him. I hate this side of me, I don’t want to be that person.
So as I sit here, thinking about my commute home with Jimmy, and a few of my snide remarks towards him, I realize I need to let it all go. I need to let him go. I need to break free of the constant cycle of expecting him to be someone he’s not, or behaving in a manner he is not capable of. I need to forgive myself for my mistakes and my harsh words. I hope one day Jimmy will stop letting opportunities pass him by. With the rain pounding on the pavement outside, I’m hoping I can wash away my negative feelings, and start fresh tomorrow. The thunder rattling my windows, will rattle the negative thoughts out of my mind and focus on the future.
So today, I channel the long-haired twins of the ’80s, Gunner and Matt Nelson -
an excerpt from the song After the Rain by Nelson
You know the time has come for you to face the truth
After the rain washes away the tears
And all the pain
Only after the rain
Can you live again
You’ll see the sun appear to light the way
Only after the rain
Can you hope to find true love again
After the rain
Tomorrow is a new day