DISCUSSING GREATNESS IN A PUB

I looked at him trying to figure out where he was at. His eyes had that gentle glazed look and his mouth was its standard stern expression.

“Tell me more,” I urged. I didn’t want to lose him to his thoughts just yet. It is not altogether rare that he shared his thoughts, but this topic was not easy to talk about, without alcohol in the very least.

“I don’t know. It seems I am destined to always be in the shadows; in my job, I am only one level lower than Michael, and yet everyone marks him has this super-senior go-getter. And then there is this project, without me, it simply would not have happened. And yet, as it goes forward, I have stepped down; my name will not be in the history books. Yet again, just the same as last time” His eyes were distant again.

“So you are like the ‘men in grey’?”

“I am just tired of being behind the scenes, and yet… and yet I have realised something. For years, once I had discovered I was good at this one thing, I set me heart to be the best. Yet, when the opportunity presented itself, I wasn’t there any more.” He looked so miserable, my heart ached for him.

“But, this is not your only thing!” I said.

“No, it isn’t. That’s the realisation, I suppose. I am good at so many things. A jack of all trades and a master of absolutely nothing.”

I was lost in his desperation. How could this bright, talented, confident man feel so lacking; when there are so many facets and layers to him that I know I will spend my whole life trying to figure him out? He got up to go to the bathroom. The bottles of wine and beer take their suitable effect. My mind searched for the information I was looking for that would console him. I knew it was there, buried somewhere below the inebriation, somewhere in my history. Something about only being a master of one thing. Something about the lacklustre life that leads to. I took another sip of whatever strange beer I had ordered the hour before, flat now, but still thirst quenching. He came back and sat down, looking at me somewhat expectantly.

“My darling,” I said. “I know what it is like to be with someone who is great at something. Or at least, someone who is aiming to be great at just one thing. You get swept away with the romanticism of it all. I have always wanted to be a woman to inspire and encourage greatness in those around me, whatever the cause, so I was completely swept away,”

I paused knowing I was in tricky territory; exes are never good topics to discuss late at night.

“But, my incredible man, it was never enough. You and I are the same, we are great at a good many things and seek a life of fullness in every aspect. Perhaps that means we will not leave massive legacys, but that should never be the goal anyway.”

He was listening, but was not fully consoled.

“You are a Renaissance Man.” I proceeded to explain to him what that meant, and in particular, what it meant to me. I was panicked at this point. I realised the point I was making centred too heavily on consoling him based on my own needs and desires, rather than showing him his own magnificence for his sake.

“I think I understand, perhaps it is best to be rounded.” He was resigned to the fact, not excited or even relieved as I had hoped he would be.

“I love you, my wonderful human being,” I said, and he wobbled off his sit towards me to kiss me.

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