I could never live in a small town. I don’t like being accosted by strangers, even friendly ones. Give me the impersonal any day. I sat down in a cafe to have breakfast. The only vacant seat was at a table for four occupied by two. I looked at the older woman.
“Is it ok if I sit here?”
“Yes, we are leaving shortly, anyway.”
I sit, pressed up against the wall leaving a buffer (or is that a barrier) of space between myself and the woman.
“Do you live in the area or are you just visiting?”
“Just visiting friends. It’s lovely here. It’s my first time.”
The woman looked pleased. “Yes, it is lovely.”
“Are you a local?”
“Yes, we live over there.” She waved her hand in a direction I didn’t pay much attention to.
Conversation faltered at this point and they finished their coffee and left. i felt mildly put out that they didn’t say goodbye.
I resent this. Conversation builds relationship and with relationship comes obligation and social mores.
I got a phone call from a woman I had met through work 2 or 3 times, total. We had spoken on the phone and I had given her a small tarot reading once. I texted her back and said that I was out of town and that I would call her back when I had better reception.
A few hours later my phone beeped with a text message but I ignored it in favour of the last half hour of an episode of Midsomer Murders. When I read it the next morning, it was a declaration of suicidal thoughts and feelings from this woman. I felt somehow violated. “Girl you don’t even know me!” I have enough on my plate with my own problems and those of people I am close to, I don’t need yours too. I texted her back sympathetically and she called, but I couldn’t answer because reception was poor. She said she was feeling better and headed to her doctor for a chat.