4 July 2018
Plausibly enough, I get annoyed with people who aren’t mindful enough when they launch into singular conversation with strangers in the vicinity. There’s something to be said for self-awareness and not talking aloud when others might want privacy. I say this, perhaps, because I incline to be introverted (more or less successfully) and more cautious than I need to be. The sword of capriciousness and never dubbed me “intrusive”.
Certainly there are some folks desperate for an audience. But in the confines of a men’s room with multiple urinals…that usually makes most of us more discreet, less chatty…like talking in an elevator. Almost everyone will shut down conversation for the few seconds on the way up or down. We become…eyes down…mute. Everyone’s self-conscious silence has a multiplier effect on everyone else…usually.
But not always. Just when I think. I’m being unavailable and protected from random conversation, someone nearby starts in, out of the blue, dispensing information about personal stuff he should be sharing discreetly with his doctor in a soundproof office. It was a stranger at a urinal next to me who put my invisibility to the test. He started rambling aloud like I had a researcher’s interest in his urologic history.
It’s tough getting older, he said. Takes me a while to get started, even though I gotta go like a son of a gun. So now I got a prescription for Myrbetriq, which means I only get up to pee three times a night instead of six. But it costs me a fortune…360 bucks a month…for 30 pills. Can you believe that? I used to pee twice a day tops. Now I gotta make sure I know where there’s a can, when I walk around the block.
I keep telling myself, maybe, it’s the Bud Light. But, hey, I’m not giving up beer just to pee a little less. That’s like giving up golf, because you can’t break a hundred. Right?
Why he thinks I’m hanging on every word, I don’t know, because we’re both looking straight ahead at the wall and he can’t get a read on whether I’m listening or not. And I’m not encouraging him…not a peep from me. But he keeps going.
I’m in the car a few days ago, he said, going 60 on a highway and I’m dying…no place to stop…
Listen, I’d love to hear more, I said, but my girl friend is outside waiting for me.
Well okay then, he said. Nice talking to you. And, really, I hope it never happens to you.