Friday, May 16, 2014

Talking to Strangers.


Guys, something's been troubling me.

Talking to strangers:
how?

Seriously, how does it work?

On the bus,
when a high school girl gets on
and starts chatting amiably
with the sixty-year-old driver.

At an intramural frisbee game,
when one of the players' roommates
starts joking raucously
with the fans for the other team.

In an airport,
when a grizzly biker
and a buttoned-up businessman
start shoptalking
about classic cars.

HOW?

How does it work?

In every one of those situations I mentioned,
I watched in awe, almost transfixed.

I literally don't know how
you start talking to the bus driver
or someone in an airport.

I can't imagine a situation in life
where I would really feel the need
to do that.

It seems to take a level head
and dose of social panache,
but also comes with
a level of vulnerability that,
surprisingly,
I'm not comfortable with.

You have to go into it
confident that the stranger
will want to hear what you're saying.
(Unless, of course,
you don't really care about whether they do.)

I can't say that I have that optimism.

I remember a conversation
my boss and I had
a few months ago
about how I'm not very friendly.

Don't get me wrong.
If you read this blog,
you know that I love people.
I really do.

And I love talking to other people.

But when it comes to talking to strangers,
I ask, "Why would I?"
when a lot of other people
just ask themselves, "Why not?"

I'd just rather talk to the internet, I guess.


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