I went to walk by the beach and watch the sunset tonight. I normally wear headphones majority of the time partially not to be talked to and partially because it helps get me in a deeper state of thought. As the sun got ready for her evening show, I settled on a quiet spot along the small concrete wall separating the walkway and the beach. I took my headphones out and took in the sound of the waves relentlessly crashing. Behind me, people would pass by – some faster than others depending on their mode of transportation. I only would catch tweets of their conversations:
“I had to think to myself though – what would our family life be like? You know?”
“I haven’t talked to her in months. She ‘s totally off the grid now.”
“If we don’t hurry, we won’t make it back in time.”
As they left, I’d pretend to play out the conversation in my head that they were having. I had so many questions for each of them. What family life do you really want? Why is she off the grid?! What are you rushing to be back for? The thoughts and questions faded as the next overheard utterance whizzed by me.
I spend so much time trying to dig deep that there’s a certain amount of delight in staying surface level and leaving the rest up to my imagination. These kinds of interactions that aren’t really interactions at all but more overlapping realities are extremely familiar to me. When you travel alone, you spend most of your time relying on this kind of one sided conversation.
If I had to pick, I’d want to know more about the off the grid woman whose friend’s comment has put her back on the grid in the form of this vague association in this post (sorry).