Saturday, September 06, 2008

I heard from Carl

He called last night. He wanted to let me know tha the was calling for no reason at all, really, none. Just wanted to say hi.

He did manage to make sure I remembered about his birthday being not that far away. Gary and Evan in September, Andrew and Carl in September. I have not forgotten.

My relationship with Carl is one that is difficult for me to understand. He is a fairly compulsive liar, and yet I love him dearly. I could not be friends with him, but I can be his mother. Still, I try to pay attention to what he says as a response to what I have said and what he volunteers on his own.

I told him that he was getting mail here again. I confessed that I had opened one to see if I should just throw it away. It was an offer from the phone company on whom he had defaulted. They were offering to settle his account for a percentage of what he actually owed. So that whole enthusiastic conversation we had in which he declared his intention to get his finances in order, told me how well he had been doing the past couple of months, and that I should definitely send on anything I was getting so he could settle his debts and start building a clean credit record -- I'm pretty sure that was all made up. It isn't that he didn't believe it when he said it. I think that when I brought it up he was full of good intentions. After the conversation the importance of good credit will fade.

He did tell me about a boy who visited from the retreat center where he used to work and said that he was thinking about going back there. That is as close to telling me that he is in a relationship as he has come in five years. I did not push. He tends to imagine himself deeply in love very early on. None of the relationships have lasted very long, except for the really unhealthy one. I let him tell me what he wanted and asked for no more.

We talked about Andrew going away to college and about how I was going to miss him. He told me that he was thinking about trying to come home more too. Again, I don't think he was planning on telling me that before he called me, and I am not certain that it remained a priority after he hung up.

Carl is not a malicious liar. He just wants to please you, or at the very least make sure that you don't think poorly of him. So he can't tell me that he lost his birth certificate. He has to tell me that it was stolen. He can't tell me that he misses me too; he has to tell me that he is planning on saving money to come and visit.

I guess I have a little of Carl in me too. It is difficult for me to be totally honest with my mom. I don't want her to now about my mistakes. I don't want to disappoint her.

But it is always good to hear from him.

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