I was talking to my friend Bej as I was driving her home tonight about how awkward it was to talk to old friends over the Internet. I’d been bumping into them recently, as if the end of law school were also the end of a Gulliver-like trance into which I’d been brought.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate old friends coming out of the woodwork, but to bump into them online without much to say to each other, is quite the unnerving experience.
You see, earlier in the evening, I said hi to a friend online without knowing how to continue the conversation. It ended just as abruptly as it had began – a formal exchange of hi and hello and how are you – questions that are spoken for the sake of being polite. I used to think that these awkward silences were symptoms of a weak mind, but I’ve come to realize that when nothing is said it may be perhaps because there is nothing to be said.
Perhaps it is a matter of the fox realizing that it has been away from the Little Prince for far too long. The taming process must be restarted if to recover the intimacy that once shared, has been lost. After all, we are living our own lives and efforts must be exerted for them to intermingle as they once did.
Anyway, the wife and I had accompanied Bej on her quest to find an appropriate wedding dress for an event this weekend to which we had all been invited. The quest had taken all night to accomplish and in the fashion of most quests of this nature, we came home empty-handed after scouring Robinson’s Galleria for suitable couture. We passed by my place to change cars: I had been driving the family wagon and it was as if the flesh off the small of my back was being carved in the manner of air-dried meats from Parma. As my small sub-compact (now since returned to my garage after being grabbed in the morning by Mother) is far gentler to the lower back, a change was in order. Once again, I’ve digressed.
My point is, by this time (close to 10 p.m., +800GMT) we were all dog tired and suffering from reduced brain functions. On the way home, I suddenly found it hard to begin a conversation with a friend with whom I had spent the better part of the last five hours or so.
“It’s hard to talk to your friends online nowadays,” I said while waiting for a light to turn.
“Well, once you get to the ‘How are you?’ or the ‘What are you doing?’ part, most of my friends say ‘Work.'”
I guess I don’t want to bother my friends who are online for work because I’m being a bum waiting for the bar while these people actually have to forego happiness in order to put food on the table. Of course they don’t know this. I figure it’s part of growing up. I don’t know.
“Wow, pare. Dyahe nga,” she said, breaking into even more giggles at the thought of her doing a really terrible Povedan accent (Bej did NOT go to Poveda). Finally, we got to her apartment, and I dropped her off.
The car was silent on the way home.