Day 64: Surrendering to mindless gossip

3 Nov

I can hardly bloody hear anything for the tapping of my keyboard.

EVERY day I am privy to mindless gossip on my commuter train when I’m trying to update you with the important stuff of the day before, like making curtains. Usually I pull tortured faces and eventually stuff my headphones in my ears with a big sigh, to listen to that soothing Panics mantra, ‘Don’t Fight It’ on repeat.

Today, I am going to both exercise my observational skills (see Day 7, A Eureka Moment) and practise acceptance (Day 47, Learning how to ACT), by listening intently to the gossip and learning something. My own anecdotal style is so meandering, and my conclusion so elusive, that perhaps I’ll pick up some tips as to effective timing and delivery.

My carriage is packed, so it’s like someone’s fiddling with the radio dial, with everyone sped up, Henry Higgins-style. “Wittering,” Dad calls it.

“So your work is telling you that you can’t have Facebook in your personal life? Well excuse me, you don’t dictate to me… See this is why I don’t like the way they try and control your life.”
What I learned: If I try not to go up an octave when saying something self-righteous, I may sound less self-righteous.

“Daniel rang me Sunday just after the show. I said, ‘Ah yeah, I’ve just finished the last show.
He said, ‘It’s raining heaps in Bendigo.’
I said, ‘Yeah, I know – I’m in Bendigo.’
I think he thought the show was in Melbourne. He probably would have come if I’d told him.”
What I learned: Filler is acceptable and may lead to something exciting eventually: just keep flinging mud until something sticks.

“It’s their 25th wedding anniversary. What shall I text? Love you long time?”
“Look at you, you’re the golden child.”
“Aw, fuck you.”
What I learned: Some mates are good for banter; some mates are good for sentimentality. Expecting both from one person is expecting too much, so choose carefully.

“He must have been at Coles for 30 years now. So has that big tall bloke.”
“Awwww, yes, yes.”
What I learned: “Awww yes, yes” is the most accepted interjection on this train, and way more effective than my own version – “Mm” – as it conveys enthusiasm and takes longer to say. Useful for those one-way conversations where the correct response is undetermined.

Keeper? Yes. And I should probably get my ears syringed. I can just about eke out one-liners of gold around me, but I’ve already shifted seats once, so whole conversations elude me.

%d bloggers like this: