Originally posted on July 29, 2007
I've never been one for small talk. I think it's the insincerity of it all. Meaningful conversation or nothing at all. Very rarely do I actually care how you're doing when I ask "How are you?" so why bother?
In addition, I've mentioned that I have nine friends. Nine friends is enough. There's guys in there I haven't spoken to in 8 months. I can barely keep up with the friends I have, so I'm not at all in the market for any more.
This all adds up to a frightening degree of anti-socialness. I like to think I put off an aura like a hissing cat. Strangers don't approach me. (Carol on the other hand, seems to invite and welcome all kinds of *witticisms" from people who pass within five feet.)
So I'm standing in the return line at Marshall's, in my cocoon of don't-talk-to-me, when I hear, "Excuse me. Excuse me." And since it's so odd for strangers to approach me, my mind doesn't even register the possibility that someone's talking to me. Then I feel a punch on my leg. I look down and there's a sweet little girl, about 1 or 2, looking up at me. Now she's not the one who's talking, so I look up at the mother, and she asks me, "Don't it look like she got a touch of the pinkeye?"
I'm not sure if it was the flipflops, four days scruff, or the fact that I'd been waiting 20 minutes to return a $9.99 shirt which made her think I was a pediatrician, but what could my response be? I decided to give it my best shot. I knelt down and said, "Hey sweetie, have you been rubbing your eyes too much?"
She gives me a big smile, licks her hand and punches me again. (After some observation, it became apparent that the hand licking was a *thing* she did. Which might not explain the pinkeye, but would be my first suspicion if she had any other ailments.)
So I tell the mother, "There isn't any discharge, and even the tearing doesn't seem abnormal. I wouldn't worry too much."
To which she replies, "Yup, looks like the pinkeye."
I went back to my cocoon.