I learned that I am more comfortable with silence than my friend. It felt like my friend talked almost non-stop. They didn’t, but it felt like it. As if they needed to fill every silence with words.
At first, I listened to all the words, then gradually my mind wandered away. Their words like a radio programme chattering in the background as my thoughts wandered around the fabulous autumn Devon views. My friend didn’t appear to need my listening, no input from me needed.
Normally living alone, with much silence, I found this stream of talking most strange. On the occasions when my friend was silent they were tapping away into their phone, or computer, presumably social networking. They would read, with verbal annotation and explanation, the text’s they’d received. This total sharing is not something I’m used to. Unsolicited, it felt somehow inappropriate. I suspect it was actually some kind of generous gift of openness, non-exclusion. A sweet generous friend.
If I said something, made a statement, it would be followed by my friend’s analysis of the topic of my statement. I learned a lot about my friend. They learned about my silences and way of being, little more. They didn’t ask. I wonder if they felt short-changed.