Getting Out of Conversations

At least one of us had to be hallucinating that day. I bet it was me…

It was just like any other day except we had finished work earlier and had been allowed to go home if we had wanted to, but the weather was just too nice to leave that place so most of us had stayed. She (of all the people) and I were standing in a crowded corridor and I don’t remember whose idea it was to start talking. The conversation was mostly one-sided and her words seemed to be rocking back and forth in the air that was already saturated with enough inane banter. I somehow end up in drawn-out converstions a lot and before the particular day in question, I had not experienced what it was like to get out of them.

My imagination has been my oldest friend. We hang out often and it has saved me from unforseen troubles on a number of occasions. That day, it took me to the bottom of a great mass of water. I’d like to believe that it was the bottom of a great, blue sea. There was a huge hole there that I was getting into (with a book in my hand) and I had felt like staying there undisturbed for as long as I had wanted to. I imagined that things were not drab because I was not stuck in a tedious heart-to-heart any more, but was reading inside a hole at the bottom of the sea! Reality was reduced to only a minute, insignificant concept in my head. I have been told repeatedly that life does not work that way. I am still working on a way to untell myself that.

Coming back to the place where all was not well- I had crawled out of my imaginary underwater haven and was trying to focus on her face in hopes to see whether or not similar signs of boredom (or something more sinister) were registered there. She was pausing between sentences, mostly to chew on her lower lip and every now and then her gaze kept darting sideways. It was difficult to discern, however, whether she was alright with me not having much to say or she in fact had no idea that I had spaced out a long time ago. Just then, out of nowhere, I had a strong urge to fall asleep. Right there, in the middle of it all! From that point onwards, keeping my eyelids apart had begun taking an enormous amount of effort out of me.

Mustering a chastened smile on my face, I sneaked a look at my wrist watch and found out that I had missed my shot fifteen minutes earlier and if things had kept going the way they were going, I had a slim chance of catching another break like the one I had missed. I blinked rapidly a few times, curbed a yawn at the back of my throat and tried putting up the best expressions that I beieved could insinuate the act of listening.

Fifty five minutes had passed and she had given no indication that she had to use a restroom again, like she had to fifteen minutes ago. Instead of removing myself from that awful situation while she was gone, I had remained rooted to that spot as not to appear impolite when she’d return. Politeness causes more damage than rudeness (why no one ever tells me that is still a mystery to me). Anyhow, I was stuck there, waiting for her to stop talking. I began loathing my mind for acting like such a weakling and making me feel that helpless. I was not finished rebuking it when suddenly, both my arms had registered a violent movement and my auditory neurons had manged to reconnect with my brain, for she had grabbed me by both arms, shaken me and while wearing the most perplexed look on her face shouted, “What do you think I should have done? Why are you looking at me like it was all my fault? What in the world is wrong with you?”

I don’t know whether there were any acceptable retorts to that or there existed ways to effectively manage that situation, because I had simply seen it as one big opportunity to bring an end to the mayhem once and for all. My sleep-craving head, bored-out-of-its-life heart and dwindling-imagination joined hands and out of my eyes unleashed a river that couldn’t be dammed! At least not for a couple of minutes…

It has been quite some time since I have last found myself in a lengthy exchange.Β Chit-chats are all I find myself involved in now. I am now known as a woman who bursts into tears during unwanted, stretched out, unimaginative conversations.

8 thoughts on “Getting Out of Conversations

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  1. I once ended up in an hour-and-a-half-long one-sided conversation with an old man in a park in a small town by a river as his three dogs frolicked and gamboled about. I couldn’t understand a single word he said because of my deafness–I could only hear bits of pieces of his voice. He seemed happy to have someone to talk to and I tried nodding in what I thought were appropriate places. At last, dark fell and I excused myself, saying I had get going and thanked him for the conversation. He was delighted. I felt quite sad for a couple of reasons. One was that i was unable to understand anything he said. The other was that he was so lonely that he obviously didn’t have anyone to talk to. He left with a big grin and a spring in his old step, his dogs running haphazardly ahead of him in mindless glee. And I realized we’d shared a moment together–two lonely souls who had never met and who would never meet again–in this little riverside park in a nondescript town in southwest Colorado. I was embarrassed that I hadn’t been able to participate in the conversation, but in the end I realized he had gotten more than just a conversation out of our chance meeting. He’d found some relief for his loneliness. And I, too, had found the same, if only for an hour-and-a-half. Anyway, this tale reminded me of that old fellow, but he was much different from the antagonist in your story who definitely overstepped your boundaries with her forced conversation. This was extremely well written. Your gift for poetry applies equally to prose, Aaysid. Glad I stumbled upon this one. πŸ™‚

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    1. Wow, Mike, thank you for reading this post, and for sharing such a heartwarming and inspiring anecdote! I think I, too, have changed a little since penning this down, as it has been years, but also because I have finally accpeted the fact that people like myself who are most often the listeners, and seldom get listened to, have to realise at one point or another that this, in fact, is not that bad. Your lovely account has now reinforced it for me.😊 It makes me so happy that there are incredibly selfless people like yourself in this world, who listen way better than those of us with apparently intact sense of hearing ever can!😊

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      1. You’re too kind, Aaysid! I totally understand the part about “people like myself who are most often the listeners, and seldom get listened to.” That’s been the story of my life. Rest assured, however, that you have a voice here on WP and you most certainly have people who listen and care about what you have to say. I’m glad I stumbled upon this post of yours. All of us matter, all of us have something to say, and all of us deserve to be heard…including us “listeners.” πŸ™‚

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