I needed to solve you. I don't like mysteries. I have a talent you see. I can read people, figure out their fears and desires, but I couldn't seem to chip away at your poker face. You were designed to dodge word-bullets, a salesman through and through who likes to schmooze, wine and dine, a rare social animal. I think that's why I felt like I could never trust you. You were just too good at office and pub politics, a guy's guy even though you felt insecure about your age sometimes, loving the attention from the twenty-something girls but at the same time feeling too old to be at the social outings. You were starting to gain weight around your middle and you always demanded perfection.
You were a serious drinker, came into the office with a drink, took us out to lunch to drink, got us to drink in the office before inviting us to the bar across the street.
I couldn't figure out if you had a problem or if you were just sad, maybe a bit of both. There were marital problems, your ring noticeably absent, but there was always commitment.
You did thing for money, for results. You hated to admit when you were wrong. When you sulked you were quiet, when you were mad you got nasty. You scoffed, sneered. You felt old and tired. Stressed.
You were looking for a way out, but there was no easy fix it solution. It was hard for you to say you cared so you pretended not to. This is business. Leave your feelings at the door.
You were curt with the goodbye but touched by the gift. Every time someone complimented you, you ducked your head and were suddenly shy.
The first time I witnessed this I was amazed. You need that. You need someone who knows how to say all the right things in a way that humbles you. Like everyone else you wanted to believe that you were the Good Guy, that you could do no wrong. We all like to think we're the hero in the narrative.
No matter what you wanted to be victorious despite all odds. You wanted to win. You wanted to win because you weren't a loser. Because you had something to prove. You wanted to show your father that it was all worth it. That risk brings reward. That you did this all on your own.
I wish there was more to that. That you were more than cliché.