I gave her a dollar when she asked for transportation money, knowing she probably wouldn’t use it for bus fare. In that moment, I was happy I carried cash. She was thankful and her eyes belonged to someone. anyone that needed that dollar more than I did. My dad let me know it was a mistake for me to do that. Loudly saying that her ‘boo’ was waiting behind to steal my wallet. He told me they work in pairs. I rolled my eyes. I felt sad. “It’s okay to trust people sometimes.” I said and then felt my arm pull my bag closer to my chest.
I see the answer to my loneliness in your smile. It’s an illusion, one I’ll never be able to realize. Untouchable. And the warmth in your eyes is thawing my insides. I think this is called hope. I think this is called growth. I think this is called stupid. Hope, slow down. Heart, stop thawing.
I have no words. They’re sucked out of me. Suspended in a vacuum resulting from a silent phone, and some memories. On repeat. On repeat. On repeat. No forward motion. This is how people go crazy.
She’s talking about travel. She said she wants authentic experiences. Her favorite travel memory was when she stayed at a small town in Spain–there was no running water. She bought sage for pennies. She has a friend from Spain. A “mini” her. I guess it’s a younger girl who speaks Spanish as a first language. She’s saying now that she wants to travel more.
And she will take a question and spend time answering it. As much time is she needs. Probably a more than average amount of time. Most of her answers include an allusion to more friends, her phone was blowing up this morning. Three people messaged her. She likes Star Wars. I don’t know much about him. He hasn’t talked often in their interaction. I don’t think there’s space in the conversation to, but his arms are crossed. He doesn’t like star wars. She told him his childhood must have been lacking.
She’s explaining her childhood home now in great detail–the color, the rooms, the garden. She just told a story about her mom’s dog peeling off the wallpaper. He told her it was hilarious. But he wasn’t laughing. I don’t know what the nature of their relationship is. They’re around the same age. Conversational dynamic: Her – 93ish percent of the interaction. His 7% contribution is usually a question or an affirmative comment like “Oh, that’s *insert adjective: big funny, weird, interesting, hilarious, etc…)*
Across from me there’s a man, maybe 21. He has a backpack, and a latte he finished drinking, a water bottle. Right now he’s staring at his phone. For a couple of minutes, he was reading a Bible–a black one with bent pages, and a torn cover. He put it back in his bag. He’s been here for 30 minutes, maybe. He’s by himself, he’ll look up when someone new enters the room. His leg is moving up and down like he’s impatient or has too much energy. He seems stressed. Uncertain. He just left.
The sales pitch of first date. Awkward. Mechanical. Practiced and tired like you’re not even sure you beleive what you’re selling has value anymore.
She’s only 3. ish. But she wears the world comfortably, as if it were hers. Climbing over everything. Going up to strangers. As for the world, it probably is. I guess it will be. It belongs to people like that. There’s a certain amount of charm associated with that level of presumption–that level of unapologetic existence.
The type of person that takes a book to a coffee shop as a prop, and pretends to read it. Distracted every ten seconds by people that may be watching them. Phone strategically placed at the bottom of the book, so people won’t notice when their eyes scroll through that instead of the text on the page. You know the type?
And this person is usually intelligent. And I guess that’s the frustrating part. There are more authentic, subtle, and less eye-roll inducing ways to display a quality intellect.
I ask a lot of questions. And they’re good questions. And you’ll answer, and I’ll contribute and we’ll explore the implications, and you’ll be tempted to keep talking, and you’ll be surprised that you’re sharing so much. And the nature of my questions and the extent of your answers will make you feel as if I find you especially interesting. And I might, but I probably don’t. I’m curious about everyone. And eventually, I’ll think I figured you out, and you’ll seem predictable, and regardless of whether or not that’s true, my curiosity will start to dwindle, but you’re used to me asking questions, and in our conversations, you’ve been conditioned to be lazy or self-indulgent; you never really ask anything. You made a lot of assumptions. And you thought I cared more than I did, and I’m sorry but not completely because you should know that people like to be known. And your self-indulgence is boring. And feeling like it was my responsibility to motivate all of our conversations was lonely. And I know it’s not fair, and I know I set you up for failure, and that’s the pattern and that’s how it goes. But I Just want to learn. So if the only time I’m being challenged is when I’m first figuring you out, then our relationship wasn’t going to work out anyway.