Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh


At some level, 36 years into this life I'm still shy. I mask this sometimes -- a fair amount, actually -- but it's a little too easy for me to revert to the type of me who's once again just moved to a new city and started at a new school and seems only to be meeting people by accident.

I didn't talk to people in line last night for Lost at the Bagdad. I arrived early enough to be about 15 or 20 people away from the front of the line. Soon a young woman arrived in line. We interacted a little bit -- I saw she was tired and assured her more caffeine was inside the building, and she chuckled and said (French accent, I believe) that she was just trying to do everything in her guidebook; I also held her place in line while she went to throw away her coffee cup -- but I didn't feel up for extended conversation, and so didn't initiate anything. I can rationalize it: she was tired and maybe wouldn't have wanted to talk a lot. But that's just a guess, wrapped up in an assumption, further wrapped up in my not wanting to use even the little bit of energy required for a conversation. So I read. Interesting little novel (Larry Niven's The Long ARM of Gil Hamilton) but I could've done more than stand there.

Because it's not actually scary for me to talk to people. So was it shyness, or laziness, that kept me reading and unengaged with her? Maybe the best motivation for not being shy and or actually engaging people: You might be interesting to someone else who might be interesting. She might've been interesting. And if conversation had fizzled out, then hey, I still would've tried.

I was doing a little better than that earlier. I'd gotten to the Bagdad early enough to have dinner at the bar, and after I paid up I went walking outside. I overheard a group of people who were searching for something. I asked them -- engaged with them, woot! -- what they were trying to find. They named a restaurant, I was pretty sure wheer it was, I led them in what I remembered was the right direction -- and told them "If I'm steering you wrong, I'm steeering myself wrong, too," which they chuckled at -- and within seconds there indeed was the restaurant they'd been trying to find. They thanked me, I told them good night, and we headed in our different directions. We'd interacted. I'd helped. And I'd not been shy.

I can use those skills to be interesting to people who might be interesting.

I can.
Tags: creme de la chris

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