Today I discovered that, among other things, I will never be a salesman. The boxes of confectionery I’m supposed to sell are sitting on the kitchen table, elongated pentagonal cupolas of brown (more black than yellow) polyethylene plastic. Yesterday a boy sold ten in half an hour, and I debated between throttling him or hugging him: which one would be more effective as a charisma absorption method?
I like asking questions, and I like the kind of listening we get when we’re in a waiting room together, or an origami exhibit, or a bridge overlooking a river. Most of the time people listen like they’re waiting for you to finish so they can say their bit, or like you’re both in an elevator, anticipating respective floors. Maybe that’s why people don’t seem to have good conversations anymore.
It’s a little like when you hit your head in a public place, hard, and what you need is to scream with pain and indignation, but you have to force yourself to stare up at the ugly tiled ceiling and stop crying. People are watching, you know, and you can’t possibly cry with them there, you absolutely can’t possibly. It’d be nice to be able to have a good long cry whenever I hurt myself. It’d be nice for people to say whatever they wanted, like we were in a waiting room or an origami exhibit or a bride overlooking a river. I’d like to listen properly.
Um, was this originally going to be about being a sales agent and selling chocolate-covered things to pay for my tenth grade graduation trip? I think so. Well.
Careening back to my original purpose: the chocolate clusters in their pentagonal cupolas and I agree that I’ll never become a salesperson. If I cannot find these dairy orphans gastrointestinal tracts soon they’ll have to be sacrificed to the wholly unsanctified innards of the Great Alexander (conquerer of the world Pokemon). I apologize for the grave, grave indignity, chocolate clusters.
I vote for throttling. Eliminating the competition is probably a more effective strategy than hoping to absorb salesperson skills through hugs.
I love listening to people, so long as they’re saying interesting things. I’ve listened to people as they’ve talked about life in apartheid-era South Africa, or Cultural Revolution-era China, and been highly fascinated by their descriptions of life in those places. Or philosophical discussions – that’s another place where I like listening. Although in those, I do have trouble not interjecting.
“…I debated between throttling him or hugging him: which one would be more effective as a charisma absorption method?”
You may not be a salesman. But you are, indeed, a writer.