it’s one of those conversations that not only touch topics and issues, but each other’s souls as well. the whole afternoon i spent with her, i never even once looked at my phone. but then again, i’m usually the type who ignores my phone during conversations anyway. i try to give the other person my whole attention as much as i can. phone calls and text messages go unnoticed, to jeff’s consternation.
what if it’s an important call?!
what if it was me trying to reach you from my death bed?!
that guy never runs out of exaggerations, i’m telling you. he’s like “the boy who cried wolf” but f%ck wolves. it’s a band of aliens falling down from the sky to invade earth and infect all humans with a strange disease whose cure cannot be found because there isn’t any. stuff his sci-fi movies are made of. those he watches in complete fascination while i doze off beside him, grateful that i don’t live in new york which seems to be the most happening place for extraterrestrial exploits.
fair enough. the dude has a point, though. but i can’t help it. i’m an old soul. i love deep, meaningful conversations. something i find so rare these days. and i’m not gonna be a hypocrite. sometimes i do find myself looking at my phone when i’m in a group too but chances are, it’s either because almost everyone else is on their phone or the conversation itself does not have any substance at all.
yep, i’m also the type who would squeeze out whatever juice i can out of any mundane topic in the hopes of finding a genuine connection. or at the very least, a universal story that would link the other person’s humanity with mine.
i lose my phone around the house a lot. or leave it at home when jeff and i go somewhere. doesn’t bother me. the only time it does is when i desperately need to talk to jeff asap so he can bring me hungry jack’s along the way.
sitting there across from her on that friday afternoon over a meal of fish and chips (and later, over cappuccino and muffin), i listened to her stories of love, life and loss. i took in her advice as to how, at the end of the day, as far as employment is concerned, you are just a number. dispensable. your family, on the other hand, isn’t.
“i’ve been through all of that already,” she said. “that’s why i don’t take bullshit from anyone no longer. don’t make the same mistakes that i did.”
i heard the force of her statement but it was the intensity of her stare that got to me. i watched in fascination how her blue eyes danced in the light when she shared something naughty, and how they seemed to darken when she knew it was a lesson i needed to listen up and listen good.
if i spent one more day with her, i swear to god i’m gonna be so german in my ways. which is fine. i need to grow me some balls.
i did spend one more day with her. the next day, we went op shopping at this place i didn’t even know existed as it was pretty secluded and out-of-the-way. but surprise, surprise. there were actually quite a number of people who were in on the secret. it’s one of those independent op shops that still prices their items the way op shops should. i was hoping to score an antique butter dish. i came home with a leather belt instead.
which made me realize…
life is pretty much like op shopping. you go into it with an open mind and a blind hope that you’d find something (or someone) that you want. sometimes you find it, sometimes you find something even better that you didn’t even know you were looking for all along.
what blows my mind about this metaphor is that we are all used, in a sense. we come with our cracks and our quirks and our price tags. we can be a rare, authentic find or a cheap imitation. either way, we’re all sitting here waiting for somebody to come and see us for our value, at a discounted price. you know what i mean?
no? oh well, whatever. that was me talking in german.