More Random Dialogue
"I don't know," I say. "I think it's because I have a low threshold for disappointment."
"Of what sort?"
"Y'know. Social convention. That kind of thing."
"Why?" she asks. "It's not like you're doing the cotillion circuit, drinking tea with white gloves on."
"Fuck no," I reply, "but it still bothers me. I tune people out."
"You're not telling me anything."
"But I am. I'm trying to put my finger on what it is, exactly, that turns me off."
"Turns you off?" she asks. "I didn't think you were ever turned off, quite frankly."
"I'm not talking about sex here. I'm talking about the kind of shit that shuts down conversations. Why I don't socialize properly with people I don't know."
"People are mostly full of shit. Pompous."
"Sure," I say, "but that's not it, completely. I'll sit and listen to a blowhard if he's got something to say. I just..."
"I can't stand when people butcher the language."
"Listen," I say. "You remember that skit on In Living Color where they had that jailbird dude who used all the big words that had nothing to do with what he was talking about?"
"No. I was like nine when that show came out."
"Whatever. They also had one where they had Mike Tyson saying all this stupid shit." Cue falsetto. "'It's ludicrous! It's so ludicrous I'm ecstatic!' Or when the real Mike Tyson got knocked out and said he was gonna 'fade into Bolivia.' See, that shit was good, but when regular people do it, it annoys the crap out of me."
"So," she says, "somebody misuses a word and you don't want to listen to them anymore?"
"It's not exactly like that. I'm big on slights."
"Yeah," I reply. "Y'know, like getting slighted. People forget some social convention, like they don't say 'thank you' for something, and it's over. I'm done."
"What does one have to do with the other?"
"Nothing. I'm just trying, and obviously failing, to explain why I suddenly shut down in the middle of conversations."
"Because you're fucked up?"
"No," I say. "You know what it is?"
"Cues. Verbal cues. I'm so hot and cold based on how the person's responding to what I'm saying."
"I noticed," she says.
"It's pretty obvious. Sometimes I wonder how you've managed to have so many friends."
"Oh, come on," I say. "I'm not talking about my friends. I'm talking about random, chance conversations with people I don't know. I set up so many barriers to effective conversation that I'm sensitive to every little thing the other person does."
"Which is why people generally think you're an asshole."
"I'm just going by what you've said."
"Well," I say, "I don't think it's entirely my fault."
"The world can help me out a little, you know? Be a little less tedious?"
"I know, dear. It's always them."