Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Innermost thoughts

Gerald met an old acquaintance yesterday, who Jim also knows.

Gerald: I saw Wellington yesterday.

Jim: Haven’t seen him for years. Still living around here?

Gerald: Couldn’t avoid him. Called my name. You ever get into conversation with someone who just goes on and on, spilling everything that’s in his mind?

Jim: I know. They tell you their innermost thoughts. And leave you exhausted trying to figure out how to respond.

Gerald: Wellington’s like that. Doesn’t follow conversational conventions. Comes out with things like, “I know you never liked me…” or “I look like a total jerk, I’m so fat…”

Jim: So how long did you spend with him?

Gerald: Two hours. Couldn’t get away. Got home totally drained.



It’s a fine line between confiding with friends, entertaining them with your inner thoughts, and divulging too much.

The greater the social distance, the more circumspect most people become.

Except for those who don’t draw lines.

Travellers on airplanes, for whatever reason (intimations of mortality, confusion of close seating with near social relations) sometimes launch into deep confessions.

And those like Wellington who, in their attempt to get close to people, drive them further away. Could judging who to divulge what to be a marker of mental health?


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