029D8: Functional Conversations

Baked Chicken Quarters

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 459

We've all been social distancing for so long, that at times I worry that discussions of our post-pandemic plans sometimes feel like they're starting to lose meaning. Let's face it, the end of the pandemic feels ridiculously far away at times. Our transition through the different "phases" of community quarantine makes us feel like we're just very slowly circling around a drain without actual resolution. 

I miss friends a lot. I try to chat with some from time to time but then the conversations often feel forced or they just quickly die the natural deaths of conversations. What else is there to say, after all? How many times can you offer virtual hugs such that it still feels meaningful? For how long can we talk about the same ideas for the future and the same frustrations of the present? It's like we're trapped in repeated cycles of the same conversation with different words or whatever. 

And so a lot of times I find myself just not talking at all. Days become weeks become months of little to no interaction. Then I realize how long it has been since we last talked and it feels even weirder and now I have to contrive a reason to start a conversation finally. So I end up stalking social media updates waiting for a reason to leave a comment or do more than just leave a reaction or a GIF response. But that rarely leads to a conversation and then things just linger on.

It's kind of sad how a lot of conversations feel very transactional. Like when we talk to people, it is assumed there's some sort of intent - or ultimately that you need something. And I know not all conversations have to be that way but one can't help but feel that in these busy times there's an unintentional focus on efficiency in a lot of things. Plus really, how can one carry a conversation when you don't have a specific objective or subject to talk about? Maybe it's just me - I overthink things like this without even trying. At times we all do, I'm sure. And this quarantine just adds to the complications.

But hey, feel free to strike up a conversation with me if you find yourself in the same headspace sometimes. And you don't even need to borrow money or something - which is a conversation that happens fairly often these days.