Sunday, October 11, 2009

What keeps us from saying hello to strangers?

It would seem I was wondering the same thing, three years and four months ago, within an older post, from my former digital publication:

May 30th, 2006

A Quickie.

The University of Cincinnati is laid out in a big square, with each side about a half a mile long, which is the course I take when I go running. But, when I was at the recreation center yesterday, I swam after running... nothing new. But, when I left I realized I left my shoes. Being Sunday, they closed early and I couldn't go back and get them. So I decided to go back this morning, and they were gone. They were not in lost and found. Someone stole my shoes.

So in spite of that, since I had no running shoes today, I decided to be one of those power walkers and walk the 3K loop that is the 
University of Cincinnati. I didn't take my iPod, as I figured it would do me good for me to draw my energy off something else besides electronic music for once.

When I was making the rounds I kept thinking about how crazy it is that in two weeks I won't be here anymore. I'll be in san francisco, a whole new exciting city with so many places to explore. Most people would be scared by the idea of moving to a big city at my age and not know anyone in advance. i find the whole idea orgasmic... well, at least thrilling.

Halfway back to my house I ran into this old man walking at a fast pace like myself. Turns out there more than one person on this university's campus that walks the loop at 23:30 besides me. We just randomly started chatting about life as such as we both kept our pace, knowing the conversation would eventually end when we went our own ways. We chatted about his job, my studies as a student, real estate, textbooks, shoes... all of this in about three minutes. It's great to know there are people out there who can still carry on a conversation with a complete stranger, as most people tend to look the other way (literally), when walking toward someone down a sidewalk.

What is it about people we don't know that makes us look away?