Like many instances that happen when you’re in college, it began in a friend’s house. A small conversation happens in all groups. Tables have to be shared and a stranger is always seated beside you.
I’m talking to my friend and it takes me time to realize someone is beside me. Our eyes meet briefly and I look away, feeling unsettled. It’s not difficult to meet someone’s gaze in a room full of people. I hear him drum his fingers on the fries-greased table. He takes out a cigarette and lightly taps it on the surface. I try not to look. Inside my head, “Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health” plays in a man’s somber voice.
He lets out a sigh of boredom. His friends are engaged in a heated discussion of dares and bets (“So you’re betting I can’t touch her tits? F you man” - sadly a true story) that he does not partake in.
It’s easy to listen to the conversations of your friends but let your mind float away. It’s almost more difficult to pull yourself back. I subconsciously look at his tapered fingers that curve piano chords. Here is another stranger, lost in his own thoughts, impatient for everything to end, yet too polite to get up and just leave.