I had to go for a long stomp on the beach and thankfully, due to sunshine, I had company: the dog decided a six mile hike was just what she fancied today. There’s something decidedly naked and unnatural about going for a walk without a dog, if you are used to having one with you!
The reason for the stomp was down to simple irritation with someone. Not even someone very important to me, but it did get me thinking.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t bear small talk any more. You know the kind I mean. Not the sort that is the socially accepted preamble to a more meaningful conversation, nor yet the gentle pleasantries exchanged between people at bus stops and doctor’s surgeries. I mean the banal exchanges of nothingness that takes the place of real conversation between friends. Now, again, I don’t mean the banter and playfulness that close friends engage in, but this deadly, dull, shallow and pointless chatter that masquerades as conversation when you’ve said all you’ll ever need to say to each other and you can’t yet face the fact that you have nothing worth saying any more. It’s a horrible feeling when you realise you have been talking to someone and actually, you really would have been better just walking away. It can be the awakening to renew a relationship, to find something deeper but in the main, it’s a death knell. It’s a clanging bell that says, this friendship is going nowhere, never was going anywhere. It may not ever have been a real friendship anyway.
Before anyone worries, I don’t mean me and mine. After 21 years of marriage, we can still find enough to talk about to keep us up half the night sometimes. It was just someone I was friendly with . It just made me realise that I don’t have time to waste on that kind of relationship, where meaningless nothings are exchanged rather than deeper somethings. I’d rather be lonely than fill my life with that sort of empty rubbish.