What Do You Have To Say For Yourself?
My goals are not always pure, but they come from a place of honesty. Some things I want are feelings that can only manifest from certain surroundings. Earlier that night, we met at a bar and squeezed into a small booth and talked.
Living alone, you begin to realize how often you don’t speak. This is especially obvious on the weekends. Sometimes I leave my apartment and go to stores to say ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?’ and feel satisfied knowing that even a couple of sentences were uttered.
When we meet up with each other, there is an urgency to speak. Everyone relates and understands and has similar anecdotes to share. A more insecure part of me used to get frustrated with this situation, but now I understand what it is: the desire for communication. We write emails and chat online, but there is this ease in holding back that makes these conversations feel less true.
I have a friend that feels sad more often than not. He worries that he has more friends online than in real life. There is a lack of reality, he recognizes. There is something void when he shuts his screen. I recognize this need to talk. I feel it in my limbs and in the movements I make when we sit together or stand together, huddled close to hear and to feel secure. Sometimes we grip the table and our bodies lean atop the cool surface and we make that deep eye contact that can feel so jarring because it is so rare. When the conversation moves on, I feel a slight pang of regret, chastising myself for not getting a word in before the flow progressed. The more time I spend living alone, the more I realize how greatly I love the act of conversing.
Caffe Streets, a coffee shop on Division, has become a new sanctuary as the days get shorter. There is no internet connection in the space. I knew this before the first time I went, but it was a dark, embarrassing feeling realizing how frequently I relied on technology to escape from the conversations and people I was too scared to ever try and approach. This is me with my laptop. This is me with my cell phone. And with these things, I do not need you, the stranger, the person I don’t know and am too scared to try to know.
The cafe is a social space, an environment of communication. The conversations are robust and constant and welcomed. Even if I have not progressed to something more familiar, the act of being in this place of words feels better than wherever I was before.
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I always wanted to give a commencement speech.
My ears listened to what they wanted me to believe.
3. Don’t get mad, get everything.
But I am here to talk about realities, realities that are based on experiences, guy talks (who cares about that?) and late night chats with good female friends of mine.