Life in a bubble
Have you ever had bubble tea? Baby saw the sign. It was about a 100 to 200 yards away. Baby said no. Well, let’s go have some, then he smiled. I think you’ll find it magical.
They walked the length of the park. Vendors were hawking their wares on this yearly Small Business Saturday. A reaction to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Satan Sunday, I suppose. This being a five-day orgy of shopping around Thanksgiving.
These booths had taken a local park over. They all sold items from Ireland, Turkey, and Taiwan not quite local, mind you or small, but it was fine and here she was here with him. Baby had been talking about him a lot lately to her therapist. Now he’s asking her if she wants bubble tea. This is exciting, she thought.
It was the therapist that wanted to know more about him. Baby was happy to tell her. He is just like you? What do you mean, he’s just like you? I mean, he’s just like me, Baby would explain. He has my personality. He shares my values; He has my thoughts. He is just like me.
People aren’t just like you, Baby. The therapist explained, keeping a neutral tone hiding her exasperation. There is no one just like you. Couples have conflict. They have differences. That’s what relationships are about. That’s why we need to work on these things. You can’t find someone who’s just like you. That is not a realistic expectation.
No, Baby replied, he’s exactly like me. He is not bitter, he’s not hurt by life. He’s happy and optimistic. He is me. Without my pain.
He and Baby were in line for the tea. They were looking over the various flavors that bubble tea place sold. What kind of tea and what kind of bubbles. Here were some choices. Baby settled on Passion Fruit. She thought that sounded sexy, also delicious. He smiled. “We’ll get the tea that will make you happy.”
At her therapy session, she explained that in the six months she has known him; she had never touched him. You mean you haven’t had sex, her therapist responded. No, Baby explained. I have never touched him. I have never kissed him, held his hand, rubbed his shoulder. When people are together, Baby, even just friends, they touch each other. They hold hands; they grab shoulders; they rub feet; they kiss hello.
Her therapist finally broached the subject she had avoided till now. Baby, maybe he is, how do I say this, imaginary. Baby, if he’s not real, it’s not that…. well, with the issues you have had in realtionships…it is not that unusual to have a completely imaginary friend. It is just a defense mechanism. A wish fulfillment. Somebody our age who is normal, well adjusted, happy, and shares your thoughts and values is not realistic, Baby.
Baby left that session in tears and in shock. How dare she think he was imaginary? How dare her therapist think that she would have an imaginary friend? She’s never had an imaginary friend, even when she was a kid. She’s a 40-year-old professional. He’s obviously not imaginary. He’s very real. He has to be real.
He stood with Baby silently in front of the booth, together, a folded $20 bill firmly in his hand and he looked the tea guy in the eyes. The tea guy said I understand, sir. Baby was confused. Her man didn’t speak and yet the tea guy was getting a special bottle from the cooler in the back. What kind of tea is this? Is this really happening?
The teas were ordered, and they were amazing. Baby would never have a tea like this one again. It simply didn’t exist. It didn’t exist at this park. It didn’t exist on the Earth. It simply was only of this time and place never to repeat.
Baby talked with him on an oversized white plastic sofa that appeared on the grass. Baby enjoyed the tea, and she looked at him. You’re real, she thought. You can’t be anything but. For now, I’m going to enjoy my tea and enjoy my time with you.