Boston to Providence train, 8:30 pm
The train is now 15 minutes late. I can’t tell if I mind this or not. It should bother me, but I don’t think it does. But something is bothering me. It could be something I ate. Or someone who almost walked into me while she was texting. I try to be open to it all. It would have been nice to start a conversation instead of a near collision. Or better a collusion than a collision. (sorry)
But it’s funny, I think. I’ve never learned how to start a conversation. It’s a talent I am lacking. Or if I start a conversation, I don’t always have success in keeping it afloat. And for someone who loves silence as much as I do, silence within a conversation is petrifying. Even with my therapist. Especially with my therapist.
You know I don’t even know if I can claim I have a therapist. Since I’ve moved to the East Coast, I have now tried out 10 therapists in 22 months, and I just haven’t felt compelled to stay with any of them because of all these awkward silences. Maybe it’s a New England thing.
But I digress.
How does a conversation stay afloat? That’s another talent I am lacking. I begin talking to someone and I begin counting the seconds to see how long we can keep it going before there’s an awkward silence which ends things abruptly.
But… if someone asks me a question, even the simplest question… such as “do you think it’s still raining?”… if you asked me something as simple as that, words come gushing out. Like a geyser. I think it’s a geyser that gushes, isn’t it? I just talk and talk and talk and talk.
Maybe we are not so different, the geyser and I. Sometimes people can’t tell us apart. We’re both made out of water and to water we shall return. And we both gush. Though it is often I who gushes from embarrassment. While a geyser is a much more gifted conversationalist. That’s why people are always drawn to it. It commands so much attention. And there’s no way I could ever compete with that. I don’t even try. Maybe that’s why people don’t always notice I am around. And if they don’t notice, they are much less likely to ask me the kinds of question that could trigger a gushing outpour of words.
So this geyser and I really are not so different. But you could never tell at first glance. That’s why 2nd glances are the ones that count.