Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Today the red line was running late for reasons not listed on any apps, or revealed through their social media. As a result, I waited about twenty minutes at Downtown Crossing for the red line to come, making me about five minutes late for work.
While I was walking down the platform, I saw one of our subscribers and gave him a head nod. He either didn't see me or didn't recognize me, and didn't respond, which is totally fine.
When the T finally arrived, he got on the same car, and sat down across from me.
When we arrived at Harvard, he trotted up the ramps and the escalator, so that I was still getting on the bottom escalator as he was exiting the top.
I watched him turn the corner toward the store, as I passed where Curious George used to be.
Clearly, he was going to the store, so I picked up the pace, and probably arrived about forty-five seconds after he did.
Repeated Customer: "There you are. I've been waiting, like, ten minutes for you to get here."
Me: "No. You just got here. We were on the same train. I was sitting across from you."
RC: "I've been waiting ten minutes. I was about to leave."
So I shrugged, turned around, went to the CVS and bought some energy drinks. He wasn't here when I got back.
I'm not starting my day by enabling liars.
Regular I Haven't Missed: Do you have FandangoNow?
RIHM: Well, the other day, I saw that there was an animated movie on the service that I'd never heard of before. I don't remember the name of it.
RIHM: It looks like it's by an artist that I hate, do you know the artist Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares?
RIHM: Well, it looks just like his stuff. And his stuff is awful.
RIHM: I went to watch it, and it wasn't very good. But at least it wasn't by Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares. It still stunk, though.
RIHM: I think you can also find it on Youtube.
Me: So you're saying there's a terrible show, that you hate,and don't even know the name of, on a streaming service I don't have access to, and I should commit my time to tracking it down on
Me: Why would I seek out something you just told me was awful?
RIHM: Maybe you would like it.
I very much don't miss Saturdays here.
We thought we had wandered through the entire top floor, and not seen the table or desk we'd been hoping for (oh, we'd seen tables, and, oh, we'd seen desks, just not the right size or style), so we got generic lunch in their generic balls of food department. After some crunch and sip, we went back in and discovered we'd somehow cut out half the showrooms. We snaked around, found a desk we liked, and then arrived in the bar counter and kitchen counter department.
Me: I think this table is the perfect height, and the width should be fine.
Comrade: Yea. It shouldn't block the entrance to the kitchen.
That had been a problem with most of the other tables that were the right height.
Random Claude: We just wish this table came in that height, don't we honey.
Honey: Yea. Sure.
Random Claude: We've been here for hours, trying to find the perfect table. We saw it online, but can't seem to find it anywhere.
Honey: I told you we should have written it down on your phone.
RC: I didn't think I'd forget it. It had some cute little foreign name.
H: They ALL have cute little Swedish names. It's a Swedish store.
RC: Well, I didn't know that.
H: I'm going to go the bathroom.
RC: That one comes with all four of the stools. For that price? You can't beat it.
Me: Oh, yea. We don't need stools, though.
Dude: Where would we even put them?
RC: Excuse me a minute.
She has had her phone out this whole time. I thought she was just one of those people that always had their phone out, but it turns out she'd been on hold.
RC, not adjusting her volume in the slightest: Hi. I'm calling about the results of my STI test. Yes, I know that's why everyone calls. Sarah Lastname. Could you tell me quick? I'm on a tight schedule.
She then begins to scratch herself.
We move on, and find a delightful counter with a half wheelbase that is now assembled and in the kitchen.
Neither of us caught The Scratch.
"I don't like the word 'butt plug', it's too harsh. My husband and I call them 'anal pacifiers'." --Said to a couple of people loudly discussing butt plugs on the 39 bus. It was the only thing I said during the entire ride. I got off at the next stop.
(I am still not married. Nor have I ever called them "anal pacifiers" before.)
Imaginary Person: Hey Adam, why did you eat all those goldfish?
Me: I'm trying to steal their memories. Oh, look, a castle.
IP: How is that going for you?
Me: Oh, look, a castle! Who are you? Oh, look, a castle!
Random Vendor: Hi, can I talk with (Former Coworker Name)?
Me: They haven't worked here in years.
RV: I guess I haven't called in a year.
Me: It's been ten years since they left.
RV: Are you sure?
Me: Yeup. They trained me, and left a few months later.
RV: Can you get me their personal number?
Me: Nope. We don't have it.
RV: How would I go about selling my product to you?
Me: What is it?
RV: It's a fanzine.
Me: About comics?
Me: ... uhhh ... why don't you call you back on Friday and talk with the owner?
RV: Does he have their number?
I delete the person's phone number out of our computer, and write it on a note, to add it back in a couple of weeks, when I'm certain the person won't call again.
RV: It's pretty important that I get in touch with them.
Me: If you leave your contact info, I can pass it along to them. We have some mutual friends.
This is another lie. I see them every few months.
RV: I don't feel comfortable giving my number out to someone I don't know.
Me: RIGHT? I hear you.
RV: Will they be in next week?
Me: No, dude, they DON'T WORK HERE anymore. At all. Ever. And haven't in a decade. Your info is way out of date.
RV: That can't be right.
Me: It's right.
RV: Who have I been talking to?
Me: Couldn't tell you. But we haven't carried that book in the decade that I've worked here.
RV: NO. I send them out to you every year.
Me: Nope. Never seen it before.
RV: Is this Name Of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
Me: No. It's Store Name.
RV: OH. Yea, you guys don't carry my books.
Me: We sure don't.
RV: I didn't even know Former Coworker Name worked there.
Me: I'm thinking now that it is an entirely different person with that very common name.
RV: Wow. I just wasted a ton of my time.
RV: Do you happen to have the phone number of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
This is yet another lie. I have Le Google. But I'm not going to le use it.
RV grunts and hangs up.
I re-add the former coworker's contact info into the computer.
Dude mutters something in his sleep.
Me, quietly: What did you say?
Him, quietly: I'm really into scat.
His eyes pop open.
Dude: Skippity bop bop bop bop sha wow wow yeaahhhhhhhh.
Dude closes his eyes and rolls over.
Me: I. Love. You.
Dude: Boop boop ba ba bop zooooooooooom.