Talking To Strangers: Apparently A Thing I Do Now
May 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Walking home past Barclays tonight, I passed by a man and two women battling with cardboard tubes. They were roughly my age, maybe a little bit younger, and dressed casually. One girl stood to the side giggling at her friends. The other two had hefted up these cardboard tubes that were discarded beside a construction site and were swinging them at each other.
She dashed forward, raising her sword high, and brought it down swiftly on his.
Remember these are construction tubes. They were almost comically long in the hands of humans.
Needless to say, his snapped in half. He rolled with it though. He grabbed them both and came at her swinging both. There was a distinctly Sith method to his movements, and I chuckled to myself. They were both having so much fun. Their friend was highly entertained. As I crossed Dean Street and prepared to pass them, I yanked one earbud out and tossed at them “Come on now guys. Star Wars Day was yesterday.” All three of them laughed, and the guy tipped his lightsaber at me in salute before renewing his attack.
This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve talked to strangers on the streets of Brooklyn. I don’t know if that means I’ve fully acclimated to New York City or if it’s my irrepressible Midwesterner showing through. I’m from Ohio. We smile at people and say hello. I thought I had fully become a New Yorker when I visited LA last spring and was completely disturbed by all the friendly people. I think I intentionally used a bitchface on someone who was just asking how I was.
I have this weird thing. I’m really only nice to bartenders, baristas and babies. And animals. I will try to pet any animal that walks past me.
And in the last two weeks I have voluntarily engaged with strangers on the streets TWICE.
Am I sick?
I must be sick.
The other time was the day I moved into my new apartment. I saw two girls with yoga mats and said to myself, “They will know where a good studio is.” So I asked them. They both looked properly horrified that I would speak to them without invitation.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I should talk to strangers more.