Who doesn’t enjoy people watching? It is relaxing, without the pressure of engagement.
For introverts, like myself, it is an excellent way of picking up social cues, and perhaps giving them a try at some theoretical future social occasion. I may be out of practice, thanks to all that screen time. Is eye contact still a thing? How much is too much? What do I do with my hands?
I ate a lemon meringue pie while talking, the other day. A remarkable feat of multitasking, and I kept my end of the conversation up. The trick is to engage yourself in some manner, then one can be as erudite and conversant as Jimmy Kimmel or Jello Biafra. Now I just keep pieces of cake on my person.
There are more ways to avoid social interaction than to engage in it. There’s the old standby of sitting in a motorized wheelchair. Try it! It’s like you’re invisible! Pretending to be talking on your phone is one method I use occasionally, especially when I see that guy walking around with the rapturous smile on his face. He’s likely secreting a clipboard that will become instrumental in our ‘engagement’. In all likelihood however, he will be stoned, thanks to the extraordinary availability of cannabis product in our city. He will gaze at me with benevolence, tell me that ‘we’re all the same inside’ and patiently wait for an affirmation.
Sticking your tongue out of the corner of your mouth indicates that you are concentrating, and therefore do not wish to be bothered. I employ this method but I find that it works better when holding a copy of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Another good method is to marry someone who is an extrovert and will pull all conversation into their vortex, like one of those neutron stars that suck everything in their vicinity, like a rude guest at a dinner party. This is my method of choice. My wife is an excellent conversationalist. I am just an expert at steering the conversation into my narrow area of expertise. It takes a while sometimes!
Thanks for reading.