Hey, beauties. We know, from here and above how fun commuter stories are, so here's another one!
Train conditions: Southbound at 6:20pm on a weeknight, half-full cars, moderate noise. I sat near a window, with no one beside me, and only a young woman in front of me.
She turned to face me, “'Scuse me. Can I borrow your phone?”
Blink, blink. I was surprised by her request and, honestly, didn’t know how comfortable I felt with it.
“You’d be calling in this country, right?” I asked, semi-jokingly.
“Oh, yeah. I’m late for work, and just wanna let my manager know. My battery died.”
Seemed reasonable. And I had on flats in the unlikely (according to my gut) event I'd have to chase after her. “Sure, here you go.” I handed her my phone.
She showed me the numbers as she dialed. “Danny, this Martini. Yeah, I’m running late. Should be there in 20 minutes. Okay. Bye.”
She returned my phone while telling me she's been with Subway Sandwiches the last three years. Then she asked me where I worked, and if they were hiring.
“What are your interests?” I asked.
At which point she cracked up laughing. Hand-over-mouth-in-case-something-flies-out laughing. I had no idea what was so funny.
"Interests? What are my interests?! Nobody ever asked me that before!" she said with a lot of force.
"Well, it's a good thing I'm asking you now!" I gave back a little force. Just because I had lent her my phone, didn't mean I had a right to get in her business. Or did it?
Anyway I persisted, and asked slowly, "What's something you want to know more about, Martini?"
Her eyes LIT UP... as happens when the mind gets set on fire.
"So many things," she kinda whispered, looking up.
The question "How are you?" is PROFOUND.
But it has been watered-down to a synonym for "Hello."
Forced or fake auto-responses of obligated okay-ness are expected.
(And if you are going through something tragic, it really doesn't matter! Every social encounter OPENS with this well-established Ritual of Insincerity.)
The question "How are you?" prompts an answer that begins with "I AM _____________."
This means many times each day, you are invited to SPEAK THE MOST POWERFUL STATEMENT that can be spoken of yourself.
And the socially-expected thing to do, is be QUICK + SLICK with your answer.
For a change... TAKE YOUR TIME, and tell your truth. ✍🏾