meeting people Wednesday, January 18, 2006There are so many people you meet that you never give a second thought to. It's not that you dislike them, although that can sometimes be the case, it's just that they don't really leave an impression. However, every once in a while, you meet someone different. And you can usually tell right away when that has happened. Time doesn't slow down, however: it speeds up. Minutes pass as your brain tries to come up with something to say, some way to connect. Mumbling ensues, and you become super aware of your entire body. How am I standing? Am I slouching? Am I standing too straight? Your mind is only capable of introspective questions, all aimed at yourself. Of course, each question is painted with a tinge of paranoia. You can't be yourself because your mind is totally focused on them and your impressions on them. While your mind tortures you by deeply analysing your every move, sound and thought, it rubs salt on the wounds with a stream of consciousness barrage of studious examination of the other person's every move, trying to tap previously unkown psychic skills, trying to catch a glimpse of what they're thinking. Every single motion, every breath, has significance. The problem therein lies in trying to decipher the complex code of body language and subtleties of the spoken word. All your energy is focused on avoiding the obvious question: "Does she feel the same?"
The great part is when, despite all that, everything works out alright. It may be a day, or a year, until you see that person again. But it makes meeting people worthwhile.