A: Good morning.
Q: Er...actually it's afternoon.
A: Is it?
Q: Didn't you know?
A: I guess I'd have if I looked out. But I've sort of forgotten what the distinctions are, how it differs. I'm not sure it makes a big difference, especially when you're cooped inside most of the 24 hours that constitutes what they call a "day".
Q: Shall we begin?
A: Most certainly. I used to do a lot of talking, mostly in some sort of self mode. I'll be glad to have someone to converse with for a change. But I guess you'll be talking about the same things.
Q: Not if you don't want to. I'm sure there are other things we can talk about.
A: That too. But though I've been over the agenda personally a million times before, I still don't mind talking about them. I'm not sure if it involves a masochistic streak, but it's not too painful. Rather it might be cathartic.
Q: Good. So how do you feel? I mean right now.
A: The same. It's always like this, it seems. Whenever I have any time to think, it's probably this way all the time.
Q: So being occupied could be a solution?
A: Again, depends on what the occupation is. I'm sure it's more of a question of what the nature of the occupation is. Doesn't seem to happen in company that I like.
Q: Hmm. How difficult is it to have that kind of agreeable company?
A: Doesn't happen all the time. Especially, most of the new people I meet seem to have something about them that makes me detest them or just avoid them. And add to it the fact that I am the world's undisputed wooden spoon winner in the "smalltalk" category makes it difficult to hack at the ice. In most cases, luckily, I do know exactly whom I want to talk too, so that identification prevents instances where I'm fed up of the person and having encouraged him thus far, need to avoid conversation.
Q: But I've noticed you like a lot of undivided attention.
A: Depends. If I know all the members in the group, it's not much of a problem. If not, I'm not likely to be a runaway train in front of the odd man. But actually, you know, I have a special talent: I have this awesome knack of being the third person in a group of three.
Q: Explain that.
A: You know, I'm in a conversation with another, then comes a third that I am not acquainted, but my colleague is. I seem to exhibit camouflaging instincts, as I recede into the background and let the others hijack the talk. Conversely, when I happen to be the common link between two, I find myself to be much more courteous to both, and try to ensure the first can finish the conversation before letting the newcomer to yak on. I think that's being fair. Most others have no such scruples, and probably that helps them sleep well overall.
--to be contd.