Now before I go too far, let me just take this opportunity to say that the title of this post is in no way ironic.
Living in isolation is never a good thing. It misleads you into having a closed mindset (I dunno if that’s the right word for it). I think that one of the reasons that God made Eve was to make sure that Adam grows intellectually and vice versa. As I have come to learn, interacting with others helps you see life from a different point of view. There’s an African saying that goes something like ‘he who dances alone in his room in front of his mirror, sees himself as the best dancer ever, but when he goes out to dance in public, he realizes that he is in fact a retarded monkey’.
Well, figuratively speaking; his dancing is just really bad. Everyone’s got a story. Some better than others. Sometimes, this may help you see things in a light that would never have occurred to you if at all you lived in isolation.
I know this because I have had enough epiphanies while getting someones opinion on something. I cannot recall details very well coz I wasn’t able to write them on my notebook. (I accidentally forgot to remove it from my pocket as I did my laundry, so its completely soaked. Hoping to get another one soon) I know that this article may be a bit contradictory to the one I wrote a while back, but never mind that. This is what I am feeling now.
More often than not, I have eavesdropped on conversations taking place in public places like building lobbies, restaurants, matatus, people speaking loudly on their cell phones, et cetera. In my defense, I really do not do this on purpose. As it turns out, some people do not know how to effectively engage in a dialogue. Instead, they will actively address whomever is within earshot (knowingly or unknowingly). I am not one to spoil the moment, so I once in a while pretend to go about my business as I listen in on the ‘dirty details’.lol. Many time I get a good laugh out of it. Other times I end up thinking more critically about a particular thing.On a side note, I realized how difficult it is to eavesdrop on a conversation while trying to participate in another. Chances are that the person you are speaking with will ask you a question and you will nod stupidly, to a question they did not ask. Is multitasking that difficult? Women?
Anyway, I recently encountered one such group of people making conversation in a matatu. They seemed to have come from Sunday church service and they were discussing how good it was. I kind of felt embarrassed for not having gone to church myself, especially because I was not committed. I tried to justify my reasons for not going with a clip I saw earlier that week, but I must say it was a pathetic attempt.Though it did scare me a lot.
I can’t remember exactly what the group was talking about though I do remember that it made me feel better. I remember thinking to myself ‘I love the diversity in this world.’ I really do. Many are the times when I have been feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. But after hearing a group of strangers in conversation it makes me feel fortunate. Most recently I had gone to have my shoe mended. The bloke who does the mending for me is a jolly, self-proclaimed rastaman who believes in the power of cannabis. He seemed to have a stubborn cough that attacked him after every few sentences, to which he responded by to by saying that smoking one of these
by the river side would cure him immediately of any ill feeling. I didn’t doubt him as he seemed very sure of this.And no I am not making this up. He actually lives about 50 meters from a river. (I know this because he was kind enough to illustrate just how close the river is to his house!)
An interesting thing happened as I waited for Mikeey to finish stitching up my shoes. Two of his pals rolled by on bicycles and it seemed that they were pretty tired from a long day’s work. As they stopped to say hi, they engaged in very light banter during which mikeey invited them to sit with him so they could have a smoke together. I may not be capable of documenting the emotions that accompanied this whole encounter but after witnessing it first hand. I am pretty sure that the three are really good friends. They had one cigarette each, saying very little to each other during the time. Infact they all seemed to zone out into oblivion as they smoked. (I’m starting to doubt that those were ‘just’ cigarettes). After they were done, they put out the stubs and fist-bumped everyone who was sited within the premises and rolled away after exchanging some rasta lingo with Mikeey. I’ve heard that there’s a special bond smokers have such that a smoker will hardly every turn down a fellow smoker in case they ask for a smoke or a light.
Its a bond that I may never understand, but a bond nevertheless. Different people have different ways of showing affection to each other. I promise to do more investigation on this issue and come back with an exclusive post about this.You may have noticed how shifty I have been through this whole post. Never mind that. I’m having some trouble isolating and pursuing a constant line of thought from start to finish. In the mean time, I am going to stop here before I veer off into a totally unrelated topic.
Photo credits: http://next-thing.net/category/chronic/