Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conversation Trajectory

I'm rather interested in conversations. We all have them, but most give them little thought. I suppose this is because they are so effortless for such people. One considers breathing only when it becomes labored, since it only then requires any exertion or imposes any discomfort. For me, conversation takes considerable effort, and I do think about it in an ongoing effort to improve. I was talking to someone the other night, and keenly felt my myself working at it since this was the first conversation of any length I'd had with this person. It was no chore to talk with this person. I was enjoying it, but sought to ensure there were no mistakes on my end which might curtail the undertaking. It was something like riding a bar's mechanical bull, except that there were no drunks exhorting me.

There was a certain path the conversation took which would be rather informative if it could be expressed as a chart of some kind. I refer not to the series of tangential digressions which are only natural, but to the ebb and flow of enthusiasm and interest we both felt for our mutual endeavor. It began haltingly, as we had met a few days ago and had little memory of one another. Perhaps the sheepishness of forgetting each other's names was a perfect opening, for we were quickly conversing in earnest. It was an ascendant phase which I didn't in that moment envision ending any time that night. Somehow I was saying the right things and reacting in the right ways, and there was a certain exhilaration akin to being nearly across a minefield- only this was a pleasurable one.

An old bugaboo presented the first setback. Even though I'm saying this now, and even though I've written about times when it's been an issue before, those who only read my words and don't hear them would have no idea just how much volume they take on when given voice by their creator. I get very passionate and excited, and consequently I get very loud. This fault came up in an unfortunate moment, leading to an eddy in the flow of the conversation. This was followed by a misfire in what was to that point a string of very good decisions of what to say. From there, the end of the conversation made plain what form it would take and hastened to arrive. I don't mean to say that it was a bad conversation, or that it ended badly. It was enjoyable and worthwhile, but imperfect in the way that real things are.

In the aftermath of each time unto the breach of verbosity, I consider every bit that I can remember, playing them out in my mind in hopes of seeing how I might have done better. In this case the most serious mistakes seem clear enough, and I expect that I'll be able to iron them out if I work at it and remember when the next time comes. That's the real key: It's somehow like I'm hitchhiking, and when a car stops for me, I toss aside my bag in my exuberant rush to get in. That bag is my best intentions and plans as the moment of action arrives in anything I ever do. I get too excited.

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