A hot summer’s day, in the early evening. There were four of us sipping on much anticipated cold beverages. My friend generally was the one carrying most of the conversation within the group and the moment he went to take care of some business the table was quiet. It felt a bit awkward at first but then I just started to chuckle to myself and stare at the tv screen mounted on the wall.
These people are not strangers to me, we engage quite often however on this occasion it was just us 3 and felt awkward, for me at least.
What do strangers talk about?
Later that evening I was at an art gallery with some beautiful people all around me. The venue had poor ventilation, hot like an oven, and definite Covid-19 breeding ground. For the most part, I was by myself looking at art and standing at odd corners, thumbing around my phone, and just taking in the environment.
The people I engaged with that night, I approached them because they had cool apparels. The first person the conversation didn’t last long, probably 5 minutes at most until my friend came through and did his network business and talk his garbage. Our conversation was simple and about how the shirt got to him.
The second person had a dashiki, the only one wearing one in the event. This one lasted a lot longer. Drunken as we were instead of keeping it basic and leaving it there I spoke about the shirt I’m wearing, it has “Lying A** B****” printed on it, in protest to how you can’t a white person, and one has to be careful around them.
During that thought process, it reminded me about the journey I’m on regarding the rights of men, based on a series of videos discussing how much power women have in our society, and how it can be easily abused. So this shirt now means to me that you need to be careful around women.
My discussion with this person was interesting, and felt like we both had something to take away from it.
Does one keep it casual or political?
With strangers where do you start in order to sustain a decent conversation? My approach has always been to speak to people as if they’ve been long-time friends. Sometimes it plays out nicely and I make new friends other times it’s awkward because I may be pushing the boundaries of that other individual.
It’s a tricky one in my books and going try keep it dumb and basic and see how it goes.