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Here's to the storytellers
09 March, 2002 :: 4:42 a.m.

Have you ever seen anyone that you don't know, but they just seem like they'd be a great person to know? This happens most often to me with older people. I've always gotten along better with older people for some reason, it doesn't matter what age I've been. Aside from the fact that they usually know a lot from experience and seem to have more common sense, there's something about older people...I don't want to grow old, but if I do, I hope I'm one of those neat old people. There's this guy that comes into wal-mart usually around four in the morning or so. I don't know what his story is, whether he's doing some shopping before work, or whether he's retired and just can't sleep so he comes out to be around people...I don't know. I could invent a hundred different stories for him in my head, but I don't know his story. He wears an old, battered baseball cap (not a team cap, but one with an advertisement for some place on it) and he has this bushy, walrus mustache. He's always smiling and just seems to be in really good spirits. Occasionally we say hi or something like that, but that's as far as conversation goes. I'd love to just go to the truck stop some morning after work and have coffee and listen to him tell stories about his life.

I came to the realization the other day when Em's friend Tracy and his brother Dan were here: I don't tell stories. I'm not good at it. I can write and write about stuff that's happened to me, but I just feel weird talking about it out loud. I talk to a few people and tell them what I guess would be stories, but only because they already know me well. But I don't just sit around and tell stories with other people. Some people are great at this, they always have a story about something. I love listening and letting my mind wrap around their words and see where the words go, but I don't share stories back very often. Pat and I have stories from out trips, but I usually just relive them with him every now and then; I don't share them with others.

Back to this guy at wal-mart though...he just seems like he'd have some great stories to tell. I may not like the area, but there are some funny rednecks with great stories (there are more that tell stories that you just stare blankly, nod and get the hell away as fast as you can't win 'em all). This guy seems like he'd be one of those types. Like I said, he always has a smile (the kind where his eyes actually smile too) and seems happy, so he must've had some good times in life that have left him feeling fulfilled.

There was this girl that used to work at the coffee shop I like to visit up in Corning...I used to drive 40 minutes up there just to sit and read or watch people at the coffee shop. Davette was one of the originals that worked there and she was cute as hell (but a lesbian, oh well) and cynical-funny (my favorite kind of funny). She used to just sit there sometimes when it was slow and look like she was lost, look like the world was resting on her chest and about to suffocate her. I always wanted to walk up and start a conversation with her (I mean we had some, but they were just small-talk because she recognized me from being in there so much). I wanted to have a real conversation and find out why she seemed to have so much on her mind, but I never did. It just seemed out of place to walk up to someone you don't really know and ask them to tell you what's on their mind. Personally, I like when someone takes an interest in me and wants to have a conversation, but I don't know that other people feel that way. But I know that these people have stories worth telling, worth sitting and listening to, and I hate the fact that I'm missing out on them. So I'll just keep watching people and wondering what's going on in their lives and what they could share with me if I asked them to open up. Maybe one day when I'm old, I'll have that sort of face that people just want to talk to and I'll be old and won't care so I'll just walk up and share a cup of coffee and some great conversations with some younger people who find it novel to have an older friend. They can think they're doing their community service by keeping me from being lonely and I'll just sit and let their words carry me off...

Right now though, I need to grab my headphones and take a walk while it's still dark.

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