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Short Story Day 9 of 365
I am a connoisseur of good conversation, especially those that are not my own. I’m an eavesdropper by trade, though I’ve necessarily gravitated towards meddler and occasionally busybody. I’ve found that it’s quite easy to perfect my busybodying skills with the worldwide web at my fingertips. The line between busybodying and curiosity and research has been blurred considerably because of the internet. I don’t mean to stalk. It’s just a byproduct of my curiosity in the lives of others I’ve known in the past.
I find most people to be dull and boring, so I don’t normally tune in to entire conversations at coffee shops. I know it seems unrealistic, but I can be dull and boring sometimes. So, when I’m sitting, writing, and sipping coffee, I overhear stuff.
Most of it is background noise, so it all runs together.
But sometimes when people are louder than they need to be (or louder than you want them to be), you overhear more stuff than you want.
For instance, when I passed the 50ish couple having a conversation over coffee and muffins, I thought nothing of it. Just two adults having coffee in a coffee shop.
See what I mean? Snoozeroo. Boring.
Only it was louder than that.
The man, Jeff, talked about his son who was now a teaching assistant in Spanish Studies and wanted to teach at the university level. The woman, on the other hand, spoke softer than the man, and faced away from me, so I had to strain to overhear her. I couldn’t easily grab a seat closer to the couple because that might be too obvious that I was being – what’s the word – nosy. So I had to be content hearing only one side of the conversation.
I must say that I do find it annoying that I have to change my listening habits because someone doesn’t want to match volume in a conversation. Don’t these people know there’s a guide out there on conversation etiquette when eavesdroppers are present?
So, Blabbermouth was talking kids, education, superstitions, climate change, and Sunday School lessons before Miss Quiet could get a word in edgewise. Based on the conversation, I surmised that they weren’t married to each other, but I couldn’t figure out more than that. If only Miss Quiet could be just a bit louder.
The last thing I remember Blabbermouth saying before I got my wheels turning was, “Sorry, what was your name again? Mine’s Jeff.”
Wait. Did I hear that right? Did he just introduce himself 30 minutes after the conversation began? You mean to tell me he didn’t even know her? And she tolerated his ramblings for that long?
People fascinate me sometimes. One of these days I’ll stop listening in on their conversations. Right after they stop being so random and unpredictable.
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