Saturday, May 22, 2004

Silent Conversations

I think of myself as a generally honest, straightforward person. Sure, sometimes I slip down the slope of moral corruption momentarily, but so do most (that slope is slippery!). I always find, however, that the greater part of my dishonest side always shows itself when I see a friend I haven’t seen in awhile. It's not, however, purposeful, but rather more of a reflex. It comes from the initialization of a conversation, and we all do it. It’s funny that the question most people ask yet don’t ever want to hear the answer to is derived from one simple question:

“So how have you been?”

When was the last time anyone ever really thought about that? Usually the first response is, “I’m good, how are you?” or “I’m freakin’ FAN-tastic!” or some other trivial, subversive retort that all mean the same thing.

Derivations.

In math, a simplistic definition of a derivation (I can’t believe I remember this) is a dynamic representation of the tangent at all points along a graph. With this visual representation comes many rules: chain rule, quotient rule, inverse rule, etc. It’s a whole semester of stuff that I’ve just cut down into a few sentences.

Anyway, conversation derivations are much the same. They’re dynamic tangents based upon a single question or statement. Basically, they don’t follow what the ACTUAL path is but the path that has one single point in common with the beginning question.

“So how have you been?”

“I’m good, how are you?”

“I’m good, thanks.”

Occasionally, I like to throw something different in the mix, just to see how people react. The fastest way to lose their attention is to say, “Eh, I’m ok, but it’s kind of been a hard day…”

<glaze>

To check for friends: “I’ve had the worst day…” Friends will say, “What happened?” while others will say offhandedly, “That sucks.” It’s interesting to observe the reactions of others, and something that’s fun to try. Give it a whirl; throw something different in the mix, because it’s at the very least entertaining, and sometimes enlightening.

I have one friend, a female, who sometimes, however, just won’t respond to questions. It’s not that she isn’t bright (she is), or that she didn’t hear it (she does), but she just zones for awhile. I can understand this, as I have a bit of ADHD myself, but the manner in which she does it is unique. I can’t figure it out at all, and it’s rare that I get thrown off that profoundly.

“How are you doing?” I’ll say.

“…”

It’s so weird, and maybe this whole post doesn’t make sense, but people who pause in odd places TOTALLY throw me off. I've always felt (and maybe The Celestine Proficy has something to do with this) that conversations work by themselves, and if you pay close attention, a group will always subconsciously realize who should talk, so long as there aren't any power struggles within said group. Has anybody else had this experience, or am I just totally crazy?

Sometimes silence is golden, and sometimes silence says more than any words ever could. But when the natural flow of conversation doesn't just ebb, it actually dries up, it's a strange and disconcerning moment.

Or maybe I'm just annoying and she's ignoring me. Who the hell knows?

Note: I've been sick for a few days with a fever and stuff, so this may actually not make any sense to anyone but me, and me only at this moment. Or maybe it's the hotest epiphany EVER. I'll figure that out when my head clears up, or when the comment(s) rolls in. Right now, I'll go with the egomaniacal delusion of grandeur, because I live in the land of make believe, and in my land, I write real goodly.

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