The odd desperate smile

Just came back from a nice walk around the river. I have to say that this weather suits me. I’m afraid I like the rain and if it’s not too cold all the better. There were a number of people about and nod’s and the odd desperate smile was exchanged. I think it’s pretty obvious that people have had their fill of the Lockdown and wish normal service could be resumed as soon as possible. I wouldn’t call myself a particularly arms-out-wide kind of person, (in fact I’m a curmudgeon and life-long grumpy bastard) but even I have have had to fight back the urge to ask ‘how you doing?’

Something I quite miss is talking to strangers. Although, to be honest such a thing was never a regular occurrence in my life, (my appearance seems to put people off. The eye patch, three cornered hat (tricorn?) and a peg leg don’t exactly draw people to me), and although I have learned to live with it, when people do take the trouble to communicate, I love it. When people (usually fellow pirates admittedly) put their fears aside and make the effort to talk to me it’s always appreciated. As my dear old mum was fond of repeating, ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’. The truth is I’m more Enid Blyton than Stephen King and am always open to conversation, especially unexpected conversation.

When I think back it has always been conversations with complete strangers that have stuck in my mind.

I remember when I was a Dry-Cleaner, a wizened old woman came to the counter of my shop and demanded to read my palm and look at my er…. nails. She declared in no uncertain terms that one day I would be extremely famous. What for, I never could work out because at that time I was particularly unambitious and was just ‘bobbing along’. Anyway, although her predictions were complete rubbish, her memory has stayed with me for a very long time.

I do wish we would engage a bit more. It would be really good to find out more about people and their lives. I know from the time I was a counsellor with MIND that other people’s lives are usually unbelievable and useful tools for living out our own existence. In other words, there is such a lot to learn. Communication is the key and cure for so many of our ills and maladies.

Social media just doesn’t cut it. It’s like distance learning. Sure, its useful and in some ways it fills a need but we are sociable creatures that without face to face contact and touch, we wither.