Thursday, August 03, 2006

One of those faces

I like to talk. I will talk to a rock. I'm sure you have figured that out, Invisible Friends, as I can happily prattle on about nothing for hours. I've also got one of those faces. It's that kind, open face that just makes you feel like you can talk about anything with. At least, this has been what people have told me. I'm not that arrogant.

I often have people tell me their life story. They tell me about their divorces, their affairs, their miscarriages, their bowel problems and other private things that only come out with the aid of alcohol or on a counselors couch. They keep them buried for days, only thinking about them late at night in a quiet house. When they see me, it's like a light in the tunnel. They unload their problems quickly, breathing in a sigh of relief as they say what's been lodged in their heart for months. Then they quickly scurry off with a grin as I'm left there wondering what the hell just happened.

When I was a sophomore in college, I was staying at my parents taking community college in the summer. I was swimming in the pool at the local gym, when this woman got in. We exchanged smiles and small talk. As she slid in the pool, she began a conversation. I talked to her kindly, itching to do my laps. By the time I'd left the pool, I'd discovered she was a lesbian whose mother had finally accepted late in life and her partner had passed away a few months back. She was depressed, had medical problems and felt like she couldn't go on. I left wanting to cry, she left smiling in a hot pink mumu.

Tonight, I once again had one of those faces. We went to Sears to look at lawn mowers, and were talking to a salesman. Ben left to take a phone call, and I was there with the salesman. He was perfectly nice, an older man in his forties or fifties. He continued to talk about the lawnmowers, awkwardly at first, but then with more confidence. As Ben circled around us on the phone, I learned that he had an extensive garden with a fishpond and a bench. He had a weeping willow and would trim it's leaves, so when he sat under it droplets hit his hand. He talked about trees and Miracle Gro and caring for his lawn. By time time we left I knew that he loved his garden and how often he watered it.

Kind people like that are so sweet, so unassuming. It's why I love You've Got Mail. Simple, sweet stories with the good things in life. He wasn't whining about money, he wasn't rude and pushy just to make commission. He honestly enjoyed what he did, and he honestly just wanted to talk. There was no hidden agenda, no hidden glances at my boobies. It makes you wonder why more people can't be like that.

Still, I don't know how many more fifty year old lesbians or women with loose bowels I can take. If you feel the urge to poop every three minutes and worry that waste will come streaming out of your buttocks like water from a hose, please don't tell me. This face really doesn't need to know that.