When Eileen broke up with me, she said that she and her pals got together and talked about setting me up with Alyssa. Alyssa was their friend whose boyfriend cheated on her, and everybody knew it.
“What are you talking about?” I said.
“It’s a joke,” Eileen laughed.
That was about the last thing we said to each other. I wondered if Eileen and her friends had better things to talk about.
As a way of eliminating confusion and heartache from our lives, Buddha advocated in his description of the Eightfold Path that we stop the idle chatter. When we speak, he said, we speak in season. We talk about what is factual and about what moves us toward the goal of truth and liberation. Our words are reasonable and worth treasuring. We speak only to reconcile, unite and create harmony.
I thought later that maybe Eileen used harsh and hurtful language to distance herself from me. She certainly used different words when we first met.