It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
When I travel I am that chatty person we’re supposed to nail in this prompt.
I can’t help myself.
I love to talk to people.
I’ll be on a plane or standing in line somewhere and I’ll open up my mouth to toss a peanut in or something and all of a sudden these words just pour out of my mouth and the person next to me is going to get an earful about something totally random and useless and they will never ever get back that time I’m taking from them.
I never say anything profound or witty. I’m not enchanting, or enticing. God knows I’m not a wordsmith who can turn clever phrases.
I’ve fallen out of trees and almost went through a windshield. In other words, I’ve taken a few to the head.
I talk to people because I like people and I like to talk. And most of the time I learn some interesting stories ( where people are going, why they’re going there and what it’s like at home. )
Every once and awhile I will run into someone who wants to be left alone.
And I do leave them alone. I’m always curious about those people though because for the most part people do like to talk about themselves.
And then there are the people who I just know are like traffic accidents on the side of the road…you shouldn’t look, you don’t want to look but you do and then you sail into the rear end of the car in front of you.
I met a woman once who wrote poetry and it was about herself. She showed it too me. She carried around this expensive leather journal with her name stamped on it in gold.
As I started to read I thought, “Oh my God. It was like she made a mirror out of words.”
She wrote about her hair, her boobs, her grim dim world. Her lovers ( which surprised me, at this point I didn’t think she had room for anyone else in her relationship with herself )It was all hand written in this spidery script and she doodled in the margins.
She shared this with me on a long train ride and all I wanted to do after I read that stuff was to pull my eyes out of my head because I don’t know much about poetry but she made me feel like she had just assaulted my brain with that stuff and that can’t be good writing.
But hey, she was willing to share so I did read it and instead of telling her what I really thought, I just asked questions about the poetry writing experience.
So sometimes, sure, I pay for my chatty cathy ways.
But if I didn’t talk to people what would be the point in ever leaving my house?
The world is full of interesting stories and I want to hear as many of them as I can.
Isn’t that the point in living?