(Introverts) Strange conversations I’m glad I was forced to have #12
“You always eat healthy, don’t you?”
I look down at a bowl filled with brown rice and mixed vegetables. I contemplate the fact I’m about to dump my entire sodium content level worth of A1 on it when I get back to my desk.
“Yeah,” I sigh and it comes out wrong, as always. I can feel my fingers twitching. What to say, what to say, to make this conversation go away.
“I’ve got my cheat meals, too.”
Cool. Now you don’t look stuck up, this is good. We’re treading lightly, making progress. Let’s end this quickly and on a good note.
I want to tell him the real reason why I eat this way. That I’m a vegan and that it’s really not that hard once you make yourself aware of the repercussions of your own actions on the planet. That I’m trying to be less selfish and hopefully work that towards building relationships because honestly, look at me. I haven’t crawled out of my hole in the wall in weeks.
I want to take him by the shoulders (metaphorically – let’s not make this weird) and say ‘watch this documentary, read this book, put yourself in their shoes, put yourself in your bodies’ shoes’ but I won’t. That wouldn’t be politically correct, would it?
I think back on High School, all the times I tried to connect with someone my age. Millenials don’t like me, they think I’m a little off. They’ve beaten it out of me, the rebellious pieces. Fuck, I used to be such a spitfire.
“It’s not that hard, I promise. I think you can do it, too.” My eye contact breaks almost instantly. I’m left recalling the thought with a fucking piece of broccoli staring into my soul.
I start thinking again, always thinking, endlessly. I try to remember his eye color. I can’t. I don’t think I can recall his shirt color either? What does his face look like? Could I remember it in a lineup? Why would I need to know that anyways? God, why are you following the rabbit down the bloody hole again?
I see this man every single day. And countless others, from this office. Honestly I couldn’t tell you a single physical detail about a one of them if I tried. But I could tell you their little rituals. And this one, he was bound to talk sooner or later. He means well, he means well. He just doesn’t understand.
“Yeah, what can I say? I’m trying but damn that takes some willpower.” He’s not trying, and we both know that. There’s a food truck outside calling his name.
“That’s all it takes.” I smile.
I spend the rest of the awkward silence wondering why I can’t connect with people and why I can’t stand to see them frown, even at my own expense. I’m not coming to this microwave anymore this is too weird.
I look up and he’s got a little grin plastered. Maybe that’s all he needed to hear? Do people not talk like this amongst each other anymore? What’s the point of talking, then? God, he better not think I’m hitting on him.
He finally gets the hint and goes to turn around, “Real quick – what kind of cheat meals do you eat, anyways? I feel like I could do it with a couple of those but I’ve got a feeling yours are much different than mine.”
I laugh, it’s only half-genuine but at least a little less cynical than normal.
I don’t have a lie rehearsed, I wasn’t prepared for this. This is worse than getting your six inch stilletto stuck in the grooves at the boardwalk in South Carolina last summer. How are you going to possibly end this professionally?