Sitting on the bus Thursday morning on my way to teaching Intro to Performance and the movie moment happens: an attractive woman makes eye contact and sits next to me. Her body language indicates that she would be open to talking with me (and let me be clear here, I’m not expecting that she is open to anything more than a friendly conversation and do not read this invitation as anything more than it is). However, there’s a problem. I have, as usual, my earphones in and will need to take them out in order to begin a conversation. Which I do in as subtle a way as possible so as not to appear too eager and you know what, we had a pleasant conversation for a few minutes and how knows, maybe meeting for coffee or a drink will occur if we see each other on the bus again.
But that’s not really the point I wanted to make.
This incident reminded me just how isolated I usually make myself in public with my earphones and music. How many encounters (not necessarily with pretty women) have I not had simply because there was no space for casual observations on the weather or the the elevators at school or the myriad of other small conversation openings that might occur to two humans in the same space?
Now, I generally don’t like the noise of a city or on the bus or traffic, etc., and I love music, and I carry an iPhone that let’s me listen to my favorite Internet radio station in the world Radio Paradise anywhere I like, so it feels entirely natural to plug myself into my music whenever I leave my house.
I am going to try an experiment. I am going to go for just 3 consecutive days next week without listening to music while I am out and about. Just three days. I can do that. It will feel odd and perhaps be uncomfortable on the bus or, especially, when waiting a while for the bus at night. However, it will only be for a few days, so I can deal.
I’ll let you know how it goes.