Eavesdropping – A Solo Traveler’s Connection

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Endearing or creepy? You decide!
Here’s what happened today. After, apparently, what was a terribly depressing weekend of epic proportions, I went to work today.

On the way home, I met this friend of mine, an adorable guy, who wanted some of my time and just talk to me over a cup of cold coffee. I was fortunate that he paid for it because I had no cash at the time – mind you, it was not due to demonetization, it was simply because my foggy brain could not process things clearly enough while leaving for the day to carry cash along. A colleague paid for my lunch while this old friend of mine paid for my evening coffee – I love random acts of kindness, more so, when they include free food for me!

Anyway, the point being, the conversation my friend and I shared. We talked of the past, how things were, how we thought they were, how we never knew somethings about each other and how we always knew there was something there – we laughed, we debated on philosophical viewpoints, discussed stories – fictional and non fictional ones.

When it came to the non-fictional ones, I carefully narrated some instances of my recent travels that were adventurous and some instances that prompted me to always take that step forward in life that I wanted to but never had the courage to.

Now, comes the main point. Throughout the entire conversation, at this roadside cafe where we sat and chatted for nearly this hour and a half, a gentleman, dressed in white, lit up a smoke near the Pan Parlour, which fell right behind us. This fair complexioned, mid-heighted, quiet gentleman, somewhere in his late twenties, at first came for a smoke, which was apparent from his demeanour. However, seconds later he picked another one.

He kept buzzing around us all the while my friend and I were talking.
We went into the depths of things that make stories, things that make people interesting, things that make us human and flawed and discussed why it was pointless to be an idealist when we as humans are flawed. At first, I thought, maybe he was simply stalking us – not that I am very pretty, but you know, sometimes, not all, but many guys do that.

However, I kept glancing around between our conversation, I noticed his look – it was far away and his ears were bent in our direction, not literally but this slight body language hack that could make you interpret he was actually paying close attention to the conversation.

This man was eavesdropping while lighting up a cigarette, one after the other. He smoked at least four cigarettes by the time we were done with the conversation. Since I was still not in my best shape physically or mentally, I had to get back home soon and my friend had soon to get back to his work.

My friend, of course, is endearing as always but at that moment what was more endearing to me was that this random stranger felt a genuine connection to what we were talking.

This man was in need of a friend someone to listen to or someone to share his ideas with. He was lonely. Perhaps, through our conversation, he relived an old memory or maybe he was replying to us in his head acting as a part of the group. Whatever, it was but he wanted to connect and maintaining his distance he did.

To be honest, if he butted in the conversation, I would be creeped out, I am happy he kept the distance. But, I really liked the peaceful yet faraway look on his face like he was recollecting memories. He reminded me so much of this girl I traveled with recently as she was collecting shells on the beach.

The moment my friend and I got up, this gentleman left too. It was strange, but the three of us connected in a weird way like three old friends from a time farwaway. If you travel, especially solo, you will know what I mean

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