I have never had someone want my attention so much. From the moment he walks in the door and checks to see where I’m at, oh and I’m in the same place always, he’s begging my attention, demanding my attention. Every silence is filled. He’ll say anything, always thinking of the next thing to say, always seeking a response any response, would you say something please, I’m talking to you, please talk to me, please, please.
The inconsequential chatter claws at my concentration, and I scream at him to be quiet, to leave me alone, I am sick and tired and I want to be left alone, it’s enough that there are things that need doing without my having to entertain you. He is quiet for a few minutes, unnaturally quiet, my anger has done more than quieten him, it’s actually hurt him and his eyes spill over. And when he’s spoken to, when his silence has our attention, he looks right at me, right in my eyes so that I can know. Oh you’ve hurt me but I will not reproach you, I know you, I don’t take you seriously, and his eyes cling so that I can know every thought, every feeling, all the ones he can’t or won’t articulate.
At every opportunity he invades my space, getting right up close, not touching, just close, his face right in mine where I can’t get away. Other than my desire, I have the upper hand, always, and what would normally offend or intimidate is merely play. He’ll do anything to try and get me to touch him – even if it’s pushing away, get out, out, out of my space, my hands pushing him away and he comes back for more, and I push more and tell him to go, go, go and he does, eventually. There must be that tussle first, and the repeated protestations.
He slaps the jailbait girlfriend in my face and it’s stop, pause, pause, and then it’s back on, she’s forgotten. She is only a brake in this game, she has not enough power to stop it completely, she’s not even present; neither needed nor wanted, oh no, not now. I wonder what he’s like, later, with her. Does he crave her attention as much? Does she give it freely, giving him what he wants, whatever that may be? Does she banter and play and educate him? Does she push him away with one hand and draw him closer with the other? Probably not. She doesn’t really need to, does she?
He follows me from the room to have the final say, to get one more word in, to get one more look in and I walk away. Christ, who needs this? Who needs a boy who plays to the very edge, who plays beyond his knowledge and far beyond what he’s willing to give, and who is still such a child that you can make him cry with a few cross words?