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the changed man

published: 2011-12-13

There was once a man who felt it was time for a change. He wasn’t sure what exactly, just change. Any change. He changed his hair. He grew a beard. He changed newspapers. He changed jobs. He changed the way he spoke.
Next he changed wives. With that came a change in friends. He changed where he lived.

One day he walked his new dog through the park. He saw another man he knew from the past, that past which was no longer a part of his present.
“You look great!” he said to that man of the past.
“Really? I could hardly feel any worse.”
“That’s annoying isn’t it? When you feel bad but everyone tells you how good you look.”

The man of the past doesn’t seem to register this comment. He states, “it’s the disappointment. It eats away at me.”
“Ehm. I’m not entirely sure what you mean?”
“Oh. I thought you must have heard.” He kicks a stone. “She left.”

“Ouch, really? That sucks.”
“It really hurts. And the kids aren’t taking it well either. The eldest is absorbing my grief.”
He grinds his teeth and then gives the changed man a steely look.

“I could have accepted she had an affaire and all. But she should have told me and addressed the problems. This way it came as a complete surprise. She dumped it on me, then got up and left.”
The man of the past is still looking at the changed man. His gaze cuts right through the changed man’s expression of sympathy that now feels inappropriate.
“It’s the disappointment,” the man of the past repeats. Finally the muscles under his jaw soften. His eyes are damp when he says, “I am just so incredibly disappointed.”

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