There are billions of stars in a galaxy, right? The numbers are so huge, its hard to comprehend how unlikely it is that things work the way they do. I am thinking about large numbers right now because I am thinking about probability. It has taken so many chances, so many mutations and so many small decisions for me to end up here right now- in this multiverse.
Big numbers always interest me, but if I want to be overwhelmed- I don’t have to think about planets and star systems. I only need think about people. We are complicated machines. I find human interactions- strange. So many things can go wrong. So many misunderstandings… It’s almost like an infinite number of possibilities on how a conversation can go. If I screw something up, I could really mess up a friendship. And so I remind myself…
- I am not the only one with preferences and a memory…
- I am not the only one who can hold a grudge.
- I am not the only with good taste. In fact, in all likelihood, my taste sucks.
I was talking to a friend today and we briefly touched upon this idea that I always live in my head. “Its not all about you”. More than a few people have said this to me and I feel I should apologize right now. I do live in my head. I think its a seminal moment in our lives when somewhere between being a kid and and an adult, you suddenly realize that the people you are interacting with are not just dummies in your world but have thoughts and emotions too. If you end up being the more understanding type- you are empathetic and what management types would call ’emotionally intelligent’. Or you could end up like me- someone who can judge the temperature of the room and adapt- but typically does so when its already a few degrees too cold due to something they have said. Damage control. I run damage control on most nights and blame it on being a child trapped in an adults body.
So here is the crux… when it comes to conversations, I often realise mid sentence that my friends are extremely tolerant listeners and that I, am the dominant speaker. They are not dummies. (I know that!)
I am the hero of my life’s movie. But, I know I am just a minor character in thiers. And yet, for the few moments that I am on screen, I talk- and talk- and talk… and they listen. It must really be awful to be my friend. And for me to imagine that they would like me or appreciate my company requires so many things to go right. Free will and all that. I might engineer a conversation, but not listening enough means I am basically leaving a lot up to chance.
So imagine me as a minor character in the life of my local barista. She is a ‘Robin’. I know she is, it says so right on her name tag. She has black hair that she has colored brown on the tips. She wears thick black glasses. She wishes me a good day and I ask her for a mocha. She is polite makes a joke about something I dont even bother listening to. I am more interested in my music. What to me is a meaningless 3 min conversation with Robin seeing as she is after all a dummy in my life- might be a very different story from her point of view. Robin, has a mind. She has a life. She probably even has hopes and dreams like I do. I do not have an inflated sense of self importance however and I do not think I can remotely be the most interesting thing that happens in her life all day. No, I am the dummy.
So, in the end, what I am saying is… I need to be careful about how I handle conversations because I don’t want small things I do to leave bad memories in minds of others. But can I be aware and careful all the time? Can I be try and be more sensitive? Well, I sure can try. But in this infinite world- I may just have to leave this all up to chance. And… I have to trust my friends.
Its like the allo darlin track where my friends tell me, they have troubles too… but they try and keep it hidden from me. Simply because I have so much going on all the time- Or maybe I just talk about it more often:
I’ve got my troubles too you don’t know much about
I try to keep them hidden from you
So I won’t freak you out
You’re not the only one with dreams baby
And if you’re patient you will see maybe
Que sera sera
What will be will be
As long as you’re with me
It’s easy like taking candy from a baby