Sunday, January 21, 2007

Closing the Loop

I like to read. A lot. And despite the fact that I read pretty voraciously, I know of only one book of which I got past the first page and never completed. In the same way, I think I can name ever movie that I started and didn't see the end. One because it wasn't funny, another because it was somewhat offensive and still another because the movie reel broke and I was too cheap to use my free ticket to see the same movie and find out how it ended. (One caveat - I know how Dumb and Dumber ends, but I've never seen it completely, a fact that some find mildly disturbing).

Similarly, I am pretty good at completing things outside of the world of entertainment. If there's a task to be done, I'm your gal. A decision needs to be made? No problem. A meal that needs to be cooked, fire up the grill! In short, if there's a goal that I've set, more likely than not, I'll accomplish it.

Despite my desire for closure in most areas of my life, I hate good-byes. I'm the type of person who will start to avoid someone when I know they're leaving. Many times I've driven former boyfriends crazy by making them stay on the phone until I thought we'd brought whatever topic we were discussing to completion (I've learned, by the way, that this doesn't work. It's better just to go to sleep and see how things look in the morning. What seems important at 1 am rarely is that important after a good night's sleep).

Although I have known for a while that I avoid good-byes like most people avoid the plague, I've never really thought about why that was until recently. I think it's because when I care about people the last thing I want in my life is closure. I want to believe in the uncanny ability to find people from your past in unexpected places and to remember all the good things that you associate with them. Relationships, unlike books and movies, aren't meant to end; they are meant to carry forward, to bring out even better things as time marches on. An old friend used to talk about closing the loop – make sure that a conversation came full-circle so that its conclusion ratified its beginning. That's not how I want my relationships. I want them to be open and incomplete, and for their conclusion to beg more questions, not only solicit answers.

One of the reasons I like books so much is because they transport you to another place and another time, but the situations that the characters go through are the same throughout history. After all, all of fiction is a footnote to Shakespeare. Our lives are a story, our history a script. However, unlike most good books, while the plot may be winding, the ending is sure. The Author is known, the characters memorable and a sequel in the works.



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