Saturday, August 09, 2008

Overheard in a Coffee Shop

Several months ago, in a coffee shop in London, I overheard a young man say to a young woman:

“So what do you look for in a guy?”

This is a leading question.

People don’t just ask that question without the hope that the person facing them lists off things they also are, they also enjoy and they also value.

Ok, that last statement was made to sound definitive and that’s not quite right. The man could have been gay, and he could have simply wondered if they were looking for the same thing in men. I’ve never actually seen that interaction happen before, but I guess it could superficially look and sound identical to what I experienced up to that point.

However, a moment later this very distinct possibility seemed less likely.

As she read off the checklist of things in her head, I could see him quiver a bit and drop his head slightly…desperately trying not to show her that his heart was breaking.

I felt like screaming out “Help!! Somebody help! She’s hurting him! She’s hurting him!!”

I have no idea if these were good people, but moments like this remind you how much you have in common with so much of humanity.

Everyone dies alone, but no one wants to.

Whoa, did I just write that last sentence? What does it even mean?

People die in groups sometimes. There are even famous historical examples of this.

Perhaps I meant that the act of dying is an individual experience that no one can truly share with you. Even in a group situation, you experience death alone.

But everyone experiences everything alone (or just with God, if you believe in that sort of thing). Using my argument, you experience life AND death alone. So not only was my last statement overly dramatic…it was meaningless.

To be meaningless when attempting to be meaningful. Ouch.

During the line where I quote what I felt like screaming out, I edited out “Help him! It’s MAN-slaughter!”

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Anonymous Jordan said...

Ha! Full disclosure: MAN-slaughter.

I'm glad that you're posting again, Hari. Keep it up.

12:27 PM  

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