As the last few months have gotten on, as the year has trotted towards its inevitable end, and as the winter haze has settled, rendering everything invisible until it rains, I have found my need to talk to people diminish. I feel this is a need to preserve the good, acting most frustratingly, but it is a noble need. It is words that ruin good things, and there is a lot that can be ruined currently. So, I have been incognito, walking towards the end of the year with my head down, like how you walk through a strange alley you have never visited—longer steps, shifting faster with a blank face that only says one thing: I do not want any trouble; let me pass, let me pass.
Conversation for me is, frankly, exhausting. It is not because I do not want to talk to people but because most people have nothing to talk about. When you meet someone after a long time or even a week or two, and the early dance of repeating their woes with work and life is done, it stalls and then falls flat. So, taking the onus and the charge yourself, you ask them if they saw something memorable or read something that shook them or perhaps, changed how they thought of things, but most people consume to pass the time, and they live that way, too, and so, even then, they have little to share. Their dreams are copied, and their ideas come from the first video they watched when they woke up that day. It is all absurd, but mostly, it is depressing simply because no one brings anything to the table. Often, you sit there babbling, imagining a world where the dead could talk only because you feel those alive have nothing to say. They live their lives without any motivation behind them, and if there is a speck of it, it is laden with shallow selfishness. Of course, good conversation happens, too, but it is far between, and those who carry it are few.
And in the end, when you get up and get the check, they say something that makes half sense but takes all the joy out of your world. Suddenly, you’re returning home thinking how terrible everything is and how you have wasted so much time. I would much rather go outside and read a book, unbothered.
At least, for now. At least, for December.