that when I meet someone I like,
I have to ask them three questions:
1. what are you afraid of?
2. do you like dogs?
3. what do you do when it rains?
of those three, she says the first one is the most important.
“They gotta be scared of something, baby. Everybody is. If they aren’t afraid of anything, then they don’t believe in anything, either.”
I met you on a Sunday, right
one look and my heart fell into
my stomach like a trap door.
on our second date,
I asked you what you were afraid of.
“spiders, mostly. being alone. little children, like, the ones who just learned how to push a kid over on the playground. oh and space. holy shit, space.”
I asked you if you liked dogs.
“I have three.”
I asked you what you do when it rains.
“sleep, mostly. sometimes I sit at the window and watch the rain droplets race. I make a shelter out of plastic in my backyard for all the stray animals; leave them food and a place to sleep.”
he smiled like he knew.
like his mom told him the same
“how about you?”
I’m scared of everything.
of the hole in the o-zone layer,
of the lady next door who never
smiles at her dog,
and especially of all the secrets
the government must be breaking
it’s back trying to keep from us.
I love dogs so much, you have no idea.
I sleep when it rains.
I want to tell everyone I love them.
I want to find every stray animal and bring them home.
I want to wake up in your hair
and make you shitty coffee
and kiss your neck
and draw silly stick figures of us.
I never want to ask anyone else
Thich Nhat Hanh (via hermionejg)
Important to also mention that the projection of their suffering onto you is not your job to heal, mend, or fix. If someone reaches out their hand to ask you for help, that might be a more appropriate time to do so. But anyone reaching out their fist in a veiled attempt to ask for help is still a THREAT to you and your wellbeing. Don’t feel obligated to respond to people who hurt to relieve their own hurting.
I just want you to touch me the same way the rain does the ocean; with the intent of filling her up. In the most gentle of ways and in no way or form bruising the sea."
The one thing in common that all of them shared was a tendency to not understand the nature of the friendships/relationships they were making when they first arrived. A lot of hurt feelings and misunderstandings because of the sometimes shallow nature of American social interaction.
Yes, they’d meet with a lot of friendliness and amicable treatment, but there was a bit of cold water splashed in their faces as they assumed it was the beginning of a real friendship, and they’d seek the person out for activities, interaction, etc. A lot of Korean, Japanese, West African, and Middle Eastern folks said the same things: they thought they were making friends but they turned out to be arms-length acquaintances. Several expressed that they started to feel that the initial friendliness was phony or superficial.
I do remember a Nigerian friend expounding on this by asking me, “If I woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you to come with me, what would you say?”
“I’d ask what was going on…”
“You see,” he said. “My friends from my village would come with me, and on the way would ask, ‘Ade, where are we going?’”"