So it’s 3.30AM and I was going through the contents of my phone when I came across around 5 days’ worth of automated call recordings, some from February, 2015 and the rest from later that year, in December and Naturally, there wasn’t really anyone else besides mother or Fran in them. I listened to them for the first time since they had been recorded today. I haven’t thought about her in ages so I doubted listening to these would make any form of meaningful impact on me. And I was right about that to an extent, I’m not hurting as much as I was earlier, when even the slightest of the mention would trigger everything. Today, it took far greater to replicate little of how bad it used to be but it happened all the same.

I listened to them, not sure what to expect going into it. Now while it was definitely fun to smile and realize that I got laid on some of those very dates, I couldn’t escape from the reality that I entirely sucked at conversation. Every single one of those calls started off with her being cheery and energetic and by the end, had a somewhat defeated and given in tone. None of those calls ended on a happy note for her. Want to be optimistic about it? We can simply say that those could have been a bad choice of calls to be recorded or it could have been a bad set of days for me. Now sure, those are entirely possible but this blog exists for all the times I don’t have happy endings to my thoughts as well.

I always replied in monosyllables and it almost seemed like I wasn’t paying attention to the conversation. There’s always a lot of traffic noise in the background, a lot of delay in my replies and the disinterest in my voice is loud, unlike my actual voice which is completely lost amidst the ambient sounds. More often than not, I’m in the bus, just not saying much because I’m afraid of being judged if I speak too much, too loudly or of things of socially inappropriate nature. I’m so scared of external judgement that I allow myself to sound the way I did. And then there’s times when I’m just not concentrating on what she’s saying because I’m buying a bus ticket, or thinking about the thoroughly disappointing part of my other side of life where she could never play any part but watch. It’s easy to illustrate my nonparticipation with an example. In one of the calls, she’s presumably happy after meeting me and hints towards sex sometime soon, a rather conspicuous hint at that. I don’t notice the hint, just brush it away casually. She hints it again and again, I don’t understand. This continues for a solid minute until she clarifies further and I understand, all while still being reasonably indirect. I eluded a cue for sex for over a minute, several cues as a matter of fact. How? Why? And in spite of me eventually picking up the hint, it was at the end of this particular call, that the disappointment in her voice really resonated compared to the excitement at the beginning.

Nobody likes listening to their own recorded voice but I really hate it. I sound gruff and curt and disinterested when I was none of those things in intent. Sometimes, I was just in sticky public situations, sometimes in the company of people I couldn’t say everything in front of and others, just mentally occupied elsewhere. I was depressing to talk to, even when she was heartfelt and thanking me, I reciprocated no emotion. When she encouraged me to study, all I said was a “yeah”. In fact, that was almost all I said in all of those conversations. The simplest way to put it was that I was sad. Even now something affects me. Fran never understood it completely, she just grew frustrated living so disturbingly close to it and I don’t blame her for that. I heard myself and I couldn’t endure it for longer than 15 minutes, I wonder she could tolerate it for so long.

I can’t quite go back into those conversations and inject a livelier and more talkative version of myself but from it, is something to consider. That my communication skills, outside of long messages, emails and letters, need significantly more work.

I can smell a twinge of regret, nope, I’m going to go sleep.