43. 180 degrees: Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.
“I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.” – Raymond Carver
The first time I heard that quote I was watching that movie, “Stuck in Love.” Greg Kinnear’s character quotes it as his favorite literary passage, and since I’ve heard it it’s become one of mine. It certainly seems appropriate for tonight.
I used to think hanging out with my family was the worst possible way to spend my time. But I guess that has something to do with being young. When you’re going through puberty you possess the attitude that no one understands you, and if any person looks at you too long you’ll combust.
I’m in my living room right now, and it feels good to have family sitting together in one room. It’s been almost five years since they have visited us here at our home. My views have changed. I no longer dread family gatherings but instead I cherish them. It’s a strange assortment of people. Each with their own idiosyncrasies, but we add up to some sort of comic relief.
I can hear my heart beating. I can hear everyone’s heart. We sit here making a human noise collectively. It’s the sound of our voices rising. Our laughter is mixing together in a perfect song. Ice cubes are clinking in classes, and my dog is running back and forth. We aren’t moving. We sit together making conversation, and we won’t move. Not until we leave and turn the room to dark.
If you excuse me I’m going to cease with typing on my keyboard to return to the sound of my family. I hope you will excuse me.