Asking questions is awesome. The sad thing is not many people want to answer my questions. Whether they think I am purposefully trying to get in their pants by knowing more about them or they just think I’m creepy. I just like good, long,deep conversations about the opinions of other people. It helps me write. Nevertheless, everybody seems so distant, so uncaring and cold. It’s like people only want to connect in a superficial level, they want to talk only about the things they have in common and not about the really important things like their opinions on death or poetry.
People often tell me that I’m too effusive. In this context, the word means “Someone who talks to people by expressing his feelings honestly right of the bat and often comes on as too trusting”. I always answer with: “Is that a bad thing?”. I mean, just the fact that I’m constantly fluctuating between hating humanity and loving humanity is reason enough to try to be a bit effusive. It’s just the fact that you are all so interesting, so deep, so complicated, that drives me nuts. I want to get to know you, know your phobias, your obsessions, your hobbies, anything that’s interesting really.
The problem with that is that whenever you try to ask questions, the answer is “I don’t really know”. Which is curious because you should know. If I ask you to tell me about your day, I would like a good description of it. If you don’t want to talk about your day, we can always talk about something else. What do you like? What don’t you like? What do you think of Hugh Laurie? The list is endless and life gives us seemingly infinite time to make up our minds about the answer. If by the time we have a conversation about it we have not reached a decision about our opinion on the matter, we can always ask questions.
That is, I think, the true meaning behind the proposition “Let’s get coffee sometime”. You’re not really interested in the coffee. If the coffee was that good you could just go and get a cup by yourself. Maybe talk to the barista and praise his/her mastery over the fine art of making coffee. What you’re really looking forward to is the conversation. Now, this is a conversation you couldn’t normally have with your local group of friends, this is a one on one type of deal.It is an arranged meeting to have some fun by having a good, old-fashioned conversation. It doesn’t always start by itself though, so it is common courtesy for the one who made the proposition to start the conversation.
Of course, the true nature of the conversation must lie in its relationship with a tennis match. If a player serves, and the other one just starts bouncing the ball up and down with his racket, it’s not going to be a particularly interesting tennis match. In fact, you could say it stops being a tennis match and becomes something of a juggling act. No, the ball must pass from court to court with interest and precision. Now, I’m taking the competition out of the equation because taking a coffee is not a cross-examination. It’s a common encounter of the mind in finding out more about each other.
It doesn’t have to be a romantic encounter. No one is going to assume anything just because of the fact that you’re going out to get a coffee. It’s just a way of saying “I find you very interesting, and I would like to know more about you”. Then again, the really interesting people are hard to find. Someone might look interesting, but as you get to know them you might find they are the most terribly dull and boringly common people in the world. I have nothing against common people, but it’s pathetic when you try to have a serious conversation with them and they reject you. They turn you down like they were a big deal. On the other hand you’ve got the people who look terribly dull and common and in the end they turn out to be the most interesting, emotionally varied human beings you could ever meet.
So please don’t be afraid if I try to establish a conversation that may lead to me getting a better understanding of you as a person. I crave the contact. Life is so constantly filled with people who reject my effusiveness that I find myself unable to establish a deep, long-lasting connection with anyone. It’s not driving me particularly insane, but it is getting old. Life should be about taking chances, rushing things, asking questions, getting answers and drinking coffee. We should not spend our lives chained to the fact that we’re better off alone and getting drunk all the time for no good reason. We should try to speak honestly and come off as trusting to as many people we can.
That is, we should probably be more effusive.