Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fine, we are social creatures. Now stop bothering me.

Why is it that there are some people you can spend your whole day with, talking, not talking...just living life...and it's so easy, almost like they're an extension of yourself. Your relationship glides. And then there are other people, people with whom having conversation is like pulling teeth. The awkwardness is palpable. You breathe it in and it chokes you. Words don't come. Not constructive words, anyway. You simply want to yell, "Why are we fighting for this? Why can't we just say hello and move on and drop this facade that we are actually involved in each other's lives?" Actually, you don't even want to yell. You just want to calmly state the obvious. It's not worth expending the sort of passion that yelling requires.

But we are social creatures. We are, even if I often want to run and hide and put up a sign that says "Not today, please." There is an appearance we must uphold because it is woven into the fabric of community, even if it seems false. And, are blessedly wrong, and that conversation you dreaded becomes something indescribable. Something totally and completely unexpected is exchanged, and you lend or gain insight that brings pure, fresh air rushing in, blowing your hair about and swirling your skirt around your knees. Sometimes this happens, and it is extraordinary. Hope for these moments keeps me fighting through all the stagnant small talk, as much as I hate it.

But, still, often I fail and just head for the nearest exit.

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