Did You Watch The Game Last Night?
THERE ARE SOME MORNINGS when I really don’t mind that there is no one around to talk with over coffee. The quiet helps me to sneak up on the day without having to think or be “Sociable.” I don’t know if I would like every day to be like that. I don’t think that I would make a good Hermit.
Most mornings when I go out for coffee there is a constant flow, sometimes a deluge, of people who want to talk to me. Some of them are like me at that time and can do little more than grunt. The two of us grunting back and forth must confuse and disturb those people seated nearby.
Others who try to engage me have long orations of opinion that they feel the need to drop on me. I try to ignore them. They don’t notice my lack of focus. They are busy listening to themselves. When they stop to take a breath is when I leap into the breach. I speak up and change the subject on them. I switch it to something, anything, more benign. If their rant is about politics I will start talking about baseball or the need for remedial driver training classes. That early in my day I really don’t care about either subject. I’m just trying to shut them up.
There is a big difference between conversation and talking. Most of the early morning jaw flappers really don’t care if I am listening to them or not. They are determined to say something and having me sitting in front of them makes it all look better than if they were alone and talking out loud to an empty chair. It’s nice to know that I can be replaced by an empty space.
This morning I have spoken perhaps a dozen words in all. Those went out to the young barista who got me my coffee. She was being polite and asked me how I was doing. I felt obligated to answer her. I think I said that I was semiconscious and left it at that.
No pun intended…but I think that I have spoken too soon.
Not ten seconds after I wrote down the words about my interaction with the barista… not one, but two friendly and fully awake faces came into view. Two fine gentlemen who are regular habitués came through the door. They saw me and after getting their cups of caffeine they both plopped down across the table from where I was slumped. Not surprisingly, they both started talking at the same time. They must have been storing up all those words just waiting for a chance to unload them.
One wanted to talk about local politics and the other told me all about his Volleyball and Corn Hole Party with his neighbors. The fact that he lives in a different town about ten miles away and I don’t know any of his neighbors did not seem to deter him from telling me all about it.
The fellow who wanted to talk politics didn’t seem to notice that I had changed the subject over to how last night’s San Francisco Giants baseball game had gone.
Maybe the hermits living in those caves on the mountaintops have something.