Friday, September 21, 2007

I Don't Need You

One of my favorite lines comes from Beckett's Waiting for Godot. I love this line because it sums up so much of what goes on inside my head when it comes to relationships. It's when Estragon shouts at Vladimir: Don't touch me! Don't question me! Don't speak to me! Stay with me!
Yesterday, in acting class I had a new partner for one exercise. It was my friend David Torres. Sweet as all get out, this kid. Really. What we had to do was stand about five feet apart, facing each other. And the only thing I could say was, "I don't need you." The original exercise is called "help me" and what a beautiful way to say that one needs help than in a contradictory way. That's what we as humans do, right. We "soldier on" when in fact we'd like nothing more than to be rescued. At least I do. Want to be rescued, that is. I'm not as strong as I pretend to be, I've just had years of practice so those who meet me now think I'm strong. If only someone would be brave enough to start knocking down some of these walls. But maybe the walls are too good. Maybe those looking at their stone and cement believe there is nothing they can do.

Anyway, back to the exercise.

I stood there staring at the beautiful face of David and I started to think about that giant empty space inside of me that wants to be filled up with love. You remember, when in my studio I wouldn't let love in...well, that space. I opened up that space. Laid it bare, spread myself and my fears open waiting for the ridicule, and the rejection, and then I looked at David and said, "I don't need you."

He took a step toward me. He closed the gap and I almost started crying (if I could cry, I would have). If only you could have felt the joy that came up in my heart to see him come toward me! He walked up to me and I hugged him. We hugged so tightly for the longest time!

This space I have, the one that wants to be filled, scares people when I open it up to them. I know, I've seen it happen over and over and over. Ive learned to use it as a defense mechanism. "Here, let me show you how much I need you. Oh, you don't want to be needed that much? That's fine, I knew you couldn't handle it in the first place. That's fine, go away. I knew you would." It doesn't make sense, but it's true. Maybe I've done this to you. Maybe you've done it to others.

"I don't need you." I said, but just like Estragon what I really meant was "Stay with me!"

Here I stand, in front of you, maybe less than five feet away. I open my heart to this bare, raw, space. I've taken down the walls so you don't have to. You see it, all of who I am. My fears, my hopes, my frailties, my strengths, my desires, my utter need to be loved. I lay all this out for you too see. What will you do when my voice says, "I don't need you"?

1 comment:

BigBird said...

I'm not scared of you. I promise to never run. EVER.

and I write of you in the stones...our friendship will last for all time.