And I hope you won't take this the wrong way. I'm only half listening to you. It's not that I don't care about you, in fact I probably care more than the next person. But the fact is that while you're talking to me about; the weather, your job or your toddler's propensity for sorting his toy cars according to color, in my head is a whole other world. There a broad cast of characters is falling in love, catching a serial killer, or searching for the Holy Grail. They have lives and loves and histories that rival any of ours. This goes far beyond mere daydreaming. So if I seem a bit distant or respond in an awkward way, it's only because I'm caught up in the epic struggles going on in my head.
It's been this way for as long as I can remember. My parents will tell you stories of the whole worlds that I would make up as a child before I ever learned to read and write. I could shut myself in my room for ages and live out sagas of my own making. I was and still am perfectly happy being alone. In fact, sometimes I crave it.
My AP History teacher in high school, upon hearing another teacher complain about me not paying attention in class was heard to say, "Well, Meredith has her own agenda." Mr. Ridgeway got it. He knew that even though I was sitting in his class and part of my brain was listening another part was in another world. He could handle the fact that on my desk was one notebook for taking notes and another for writing. Fortunately, I have run into a few people in my life who do get it. I treasure those people and occasionally give them my full attention. The part that was in class, incidentally kicked ass on the AP exam and got college credit for American History. Likewise the part of me that was present in my college classes made the Dean's List. Still, there is always that part of me that is in a cabin in the mountains, on a ship crossing the ocean, in Scotland/Mexico/Peru.
So, it's not that I don't like you or that I'm not listening, it's just that the people in my head are talking too, and sometimes they drown you out.