I Talk to People Who Aren’t There

Not imaginary friends, but real people I actually know. They just don’t happen to be present at that moment. I can be at home, or in the car, and I’m chatting away with someone who isn’t with me.
I typically whisper to myself whatever I am pretending to say to the person who isn’t there often without realizing it. That is fine unless I’m in the grocery store, say, or Target, and I suddenly come back to the moment and wonder if I’ve been whispering aloud. I glance around surreptitiously to see if my fellow shoppers are staring. I check the next aisle for men in white coats carrying odd jackets. So far, so good.
One of the reasons I love wireless technology is that now, if I’m whispering to myself in the car, anyone who sees me will assume I’m on the phone. I’ve even, on purpose and just for fun, continued these imaginary conversations at normal volume after I get out of the car. I talk, then I pause as if someone were responding to me. It cracks me up that no one knows I’m talking to air.
I talk to my friend Raquel every night on the way home from work, for real, on the phone. Sometimes we e-mail and IM as well. You would think I couldn’t possibly have anything else to say, yet I talk to her when she’s not there, too. If you know me, odds are good that I’ve had a whispered non-conversation with you at some point.
Not so much a conversation, really, as a monologue. The people who aren’t there rarely say anything back.  Since they’re not there, I have no qualms about refusing to let them get a word in.
I’ve had these unheard monologues my entire life. My guess is that I whisper them now because some well-meaning adult told me to STFU when I was little and chattering to no one. They probably congratulated themselves on curing me of conversing with the invisible. Ha! Little do they know, I just went underground, so to speak.

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One thought on “I Talk to People Who Aren’t There

  1. Rodger says:

    I suspect that people using cell phones are not “there” and those to whom they address their inane remarks are not “there” or here or anywhere.

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