I know, I opened a big can of worms there. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill the comments with other things that just don't happen in Steubenville (many of you would have done that unbidden).
Three times in the past week and a half, I've had three random encounters with strange men.
The first (in this set) was when I was walking across the street to my car after salsa dancing. I saw two gangstas crossing in the other direction and suspected... Sure enough, a few seconds later, I heard "Hey, how you doin, I'm 23 years old, I have my own apartment, I'm ready for you!"* I laughed as I got into my car and bid him and his buddies a "Good night!"
Several days later, I walked across the street from my bank to the parking lot in which my car was parked (to discover that I had indeed left my keys inside the car), but before I had a chance to call AAA, a man in an SUV pulled into the parking lot, told me he'd been struck by how beautiful I was, and what was my name, and did I have a boyfriend, and would I want to go to lunch with him sometime. I thanked him but declined, then sat on the trunk of my car as I waited for AAA to come and let me in.
So when the heavily-tattooed man in the pizzeria today remarked, "Looney Tunes, eh? But it doesn't have my favorite!" in response to the graphic on the chest of my tshirt, I was understandably a bit ill at ease. But he turned out to be just a sweet loner who likes conversation and sees nothing wrong with just striking up a conversation and talking to a willing audience for fifteen minutes until her food is ready and she can take it home to her family.
Perhaps it's nothing more than the bias of my experiences, but it seems to me that random conversations like this are at once more likely and more uncommon in more urban areas. More likely because the sheer number of strangers with which one comes in contact is increased astronomically, and that of necessity breeds comfortability with strangers. But also more uncommon because the average response to such stimuli seems often to be simply pulling back into oneself and one's established friends and not venturing out to meet whatever weirdo might be lurking around the corner.
Just some thoughts. I'm sure the deep philosophical stuff will come back. :)
PS - You'd better comment quickly. This message will self-destruct in thirty seconds.
*Punctuation is used here to denote his tone of voice and length of pauses, with no attempt at grammatical accuracy.
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