What I’ll miss: Talking to strangers
Subways, sidewalks, elevators. Elevators are probably my favorite. I like to see what choice people make when I try talking to them in a confined space and we have a moment or so to ourselves: Talk back, or not. Most of the time they talk back and it’s fun and people smile, except for the one time this happened:
Two friends and I, then a woman and her friend with her dog, and two guys were on the elevator to the ground floor. The woman and her friend with her dog got off somewhere between the 15th and 5th floors. The dog looked to be something of a Bichon Frise – white and fluffy. When the elevator door closed, one of the guys said to his friend, “My mom has a dog exactly like that. Except it’s fat. And it’s a pug.” His statement took me all the way back to high school, and how my friends and I would glower at the people who said something was exactly like something else and then describe it to be drastically different. It happened all the time. So when the guy described his mom’s dog, and I couldn’t help but burst out, “That’s not even the same breed!” And then I laughed. And the guys got quiet; it seemed they didn’t understand what I thought was so funny. And then the elevator doors opened like floodgates, and awkwardness flowed out like runoff from a heavy, summer rain. Oh well.
There was also that one time when I asked about birthday cake a guy was holding and it was actually a piece of his brother’s wedding cake and then I asked if he was next. Then he said probably never and never looked happier to be getting out of an elevator. That was awesome.
What I won’t miss: Tourists
I suppose we’re all tourists sometimes, and I’m happy giving them directions, but people: our sidewalks are our throughways. Go with the flow of traffic, or realize you’re in my way and let me pass, and maybe stop with the fanny packs. Thanks.