Quote seen on a wall of the Salt Lake City airport. Fucking Tolkien. Summing up in seven words what I’ve been trying to say in hundreds of journal entries.
Two nights ago, I was at a dinner for an event I’m speaking at, and somehow the conversation turned to movies. What movie do you most identify with? I said probably Breakfast at Tiffany’s because of Holly Golightly’s tendency to lose her keys and keep her phone in a suitcase under her bed and try to learn new languages but I didn’t necessarily identify with her career choice of prostitution or her fear of naming her cat. Someone mentioned a recent movie that made him break down and sob, even though he was on a plane, and someone else said he’d recently cried watching A Christmas Carol. Both guys said they cry more now that they’re older. One of them said crying was like emotional masturbation.
Last night, a bunch of us from the same event were at the bar, having tequila shots. What’s the difference between a memorable conversation and one that doesn’t matter, someone asked? I said I thought it was all about how shallow it was. Is the conversation about anything meaningful or is it just small talk. (Although I didn’t say it then, I remembered the conversation from the night before and thought that hearing what makes people cry and how it makes them feel is meaningful conversation that gives me perspective on the world.)
So, how do you go about having good conversations, he then wondered. I said that mostly there aren’t good conversationalists and bad conversationalists. It’s more about the connections between two people. One person you feel like you can be honest with, another you limit things to small talk. Someone else said she thought that it was chemistry and everyone in the conversation looking for the same things out of it. I likened it to sex. The difference between good sex and bad sex can be more about the chemistry between two people and whether they’re interested in the same things than about those involved being inherently good or bad at it.
I’m sitting in the Albuquerque airport right now, drinking coffee. I have been here before. Which is to say, I know I was here earlier this year when I went snowboarding in Taos, but I have been here by myself, fairly recently, only I have no idea when or why. The Albuquerque airport has this great area upstairs with huge windows and lots of tables and chairs and absolutely no people. You can take stairs up to it, but there are no signs that tell you what you might find. I imagine not many people know about it. I know about it. But I don’t remember when I found it.
I’m not lost. I’m just wandering.