I’ve noticed, as I’ve gotten older older relatively, which does not in any way mean that I am getting old that I need to talk less and less. In fact, I crave silence. Funny coming from someone who made straight A‘s in school but C’s in conduct don’t judge me. I just find that people have less and less interesting things to say these days no I’m not a snob well yeah I can be but not about this. In these days of information overload, when the tv does not sign off after the national anthem at midnight yes that really used to happen but dammit I’m not old, when you have a computer readily available both at home and at work, and the internet draws you in yes it draws you in and keeps pulling and making you its slave so that you find yourself reading someone else’s rambling thoughts just to keep from working and feeds you more information than you would ever need to know (with reference to Erica for her Friday post thankyouverymuch), sometimes you just need some peace and quiet. Add in a couple of kids, the sound of the phone ohgod the phone the incessant phone it just rings and rings and these people these little people they ask and ask and ask to speak to Kid A or Kid B, and the ba-ding ba-ding ba-ding of instant messengers on two different computers, two different providers, two separate kids oh god the noise the noise the noise make it stop.

So is there any question that sometimes the total lack of sound is something I crave?

Ok. I’m talking too much. But what got me on this subject is a friend of mine (M.) who has this friend. This friend. This friend is from Italy, and she visits M. on occasion. And when these visits approach, I see M., whom I work with, get that glazed-over look, and I know, just know, that Alex is coming to town. My friend has to prepare for days for this. She has to talk and talk and talk and talk because when Alex gets here, she will not be allowed to talk. She will only be allowed to listen. And listen. And listen. She will not be able to inject an “oh, my” or a “how ’bout that” into any conversation. She. Will. Just. Listen.

M. recently told me the story of how she met Alex. First you gotta know M. — raised here in the south to be a proper southern girl, complete with manners and a bit of, well, an ability to be discreet in the company of others. Alex’s first conversation (that is, of course, not a correct term as there has to be more than one person in a conversation, right?) — her introductory, um, speech, was to describe, in detail, her recent experience in the shower with a boyfriend and a shower massager. Uh, yeah, okaaaaay. I think M. thought she had been hit by a train. She still blanches when she mentions it.

Alex has to talk about everything. She has to talk about anything. M. said that during this visit Alex treated her to a fifteen-to-twenty minute dissertation on why she no longer wears a watch. How she used to. But doesn’t any more. And the reasons why. And the type of watch she wore when she wore a watch. And the problems that she faces since she stopped wearing a watch. And the people she’s had to ask if they had a watch. And if they did, how she had to ask them the time. And how in college this happened and that happened and all this because of either wearing a watch or not wearing a watch.

Dear, dear lord. . .

I think I’m gonna go visit M. in her office right now. I want to tell her all about something that happened to my grandfather when he was two.

This may take awhile.