During a commercial, GMR says: “. . . something something something . . .”
Me: Looking startled and slightly indignant, says, “Huhn…what? . . . What did you say . . .” and she is stretched tight in her brain, synapses ground to a faltering halt, and thinks, how RUDE of him to interrupt! But then she catches herself—interrupt? Wait . . . wait . . . the room rearranges, the synapses snap crackle pop, there is a click, a whir, the living comes into full focus. GMR is there, with that wiped clean expression.
GMR says, nonchalant, something to the effect of, “Never mind.”
I say, “No no, what did you say? What was it?”
“It was nothing.”
Me: *sigh* – “just tell me what you said; I’m listening” –I don’t add, “Now” because I wasn’t listening before. In fact, I know I heard a mumble mumble something something coming from a few feet away, but I was listening to another conversation. One that GMR could not hear or know about.
For you see, GMR sees two people in the room: Himself. Me.
I “see” more than two in the room and am following a conversation that goes on only in my pea-headed brain. It could be a couple characters talking something out. It could be I’m watching some bit of flash of action and then images slide by in a series of boom boom booms. It could be I’m standing among the characters as they blah blah blah didity boom de blah. Whatever is going on, only I can hear it and it is sometimes unordered and chaotic. Sometimes the images are wild and uncontrolled and other times it is an actual full-fledged conversation working out between two “people.” And, it happens more times than GMR realizes, or for that matter, maybe other people I interact with realize.
GMR simply doesn’t see the others in the living room.
And while I’m listening to the characters or watching the images of those who are unreal (but sort of surreally-real to me), and GMR says something, it is as jarring as though I were standing in a room of people and we were conversing or I was listening to someone talking and GMR walked right up and tapped me on the shoulder and began yappity do dah daying! There is the flash of irritation, the moment of “how rude!” the startled feeling of having to tear one’s thoughts away from what has one’s attention and bring it round to something or someone else.
To explain how real these inner worlds can become at certain times would perhaps cause GMR hesitation, a pause, a looking askance at the being his wife is and think, “Who and just what is this person I married? She hears voices? She imagines people in the room?”
And the answer to that question is startling. The answer to that question is . . .
. . . too complicated to answer.
Or is it? I must consult the Others. Ask them what they think . . . am I kidding? Ah, I’ll not tell! Haha! But, perhaps I do not want to admit the answer? Perhaps the answer picks at my innards with a pinch.