Not Wanting to Want

How Intense, Nearly Unbearable, Feelings Can Be:

My seat mate on the train spots an older woman and offers her his seat. She declines, but thanks him. I touch his arm and say, “That was nice.”

He smiles and nods deeply, perhaps acknowledging the acknowledgment. I feel a burning discomfort, an embarrassment, shame, almost unbearably strong feeling.

For him? For me? For humanity? Did I tell him that really just to get acknowledgment for my acknowledgment?

Wanting. Giving. Receiving. So painful. I think I want so much.

For help with situations like these, please contact Linda Charnes today.

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