Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Keeping the Small-talk holster handy

R & M hadn't seen each other in a while before they met in the elevator car. "Hey R". "Hey M". It would have been perfectly ok to end that conversation right there. It would have been acceptable etiquette to spend the remaining 15 seconds staring at the LED numbers. However, R said "How are you?". "I'm fine", M replied. That would have been yet another place to put a logical end to that exchange. Just 5 more seconds to go. But R chose to prolong it "Anything special going on?". "Nothing much really". After this there were only two ways in which this could have ended well. The elevator could have stopped and exactly one of them would get out mumbling a hurried "Catch you later". Or R, as the initiator could have come up with an interesting enough leading question. The weather, the evergreen fallback, was out of question because when you are in an elevator you tend not to be sure what it is like outside. Faced with the lack of ideas, R got too busy rueing his poor judgement at having dragged this little interview too long. As it turned out, they just stared at each other awkwardly and went their separate ways after an interminable journey to the top floor. Both will remember this the next time they meet. That lack of closure will cause a discordance that will linger on, especially for R. Several potential topics flashed through R's head while he was walking away from the lift lobby. He can't wait to meet M again so that he gets a chance to erase this memory with a complete conversation. Until then he'll stow the burden away in a dark corner
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