After you isolate yourself from people you used to be around all the time, you start to realize how useless it is to still consider yourself to be friends with them, or anyone else for that matter. It’s much easier for you to just do things that way you want to, without having to worry about embarrassing the people accompanying you.
You spend more time alone and find yourself discovering things about yourself that you could have never discovered before.
You stop giving a fuck about what you wear. You stop giving a fuck about how other people see you, because you don’t care about other people’s opinions anymore. There’s no point in caring as you don’t care about what they’re doing either.
You find yourself starting conversations with people just to see how they go, even if it’s with a complete stranger. You don’t do it often though. You only do it at certain times and places—usually during the day at stop lights, bus stops, on the bus, train stations, coffee shops… Ah, you get the point.
Everything that I just said probably sounds weird to you. It sounded weird to me too, until I actually started doing it. It’s all part of self discovery.
I’m traveling down this road to self discovery. I don’t know if it’s this one big road, but I don’t think it’ll ever end. I hope it doesn’t, because there are many things I still have to learn and maybe one day I’ll be able to share them with you.
Anyways, there was this one point of my journey where I didn’t feel lonely. It is the highlight of my journey to self discovery so far and it’s the reason why I start conversations with strangers sometimes.
It was a Saturday. It was also raining, so I decided that I would take the bus home. I headed to the bus stop that was furthest from home, because I cherished every moment away from there.
I got to the bus stop, which was empty at the time, and sat. I checked the time and it was 7:50, but the bus wasn’t going to arrive until 8:30. I had plenty of time to myself.
I thought that it would be a good idea to make use of the time by smoking the last of what I had in my third pack of the day. There were eighteen cigarettes left and I had forty minutes to spare. Fifteen minutes passed by and I was already halfway done.
I looked at my phone to see what the time was. When I looked back up, I was startled because one minute I was alone and in my own little world, the next there was this random dude sitting next to me and I was back in reality.
I took out another cigarette and shifted a bit to the right because I felt uneasy around him.
“Excuse me, do you know what time it is?” he asked, tapping me on the shoulder.
“Thank you. How are you?” he asked.
“What? Oh. Uh, I guess I’m fine. You smoke?”
I don’t know why I asked if he smoked. I guess it was my awkward way of breaking the ice.
A minute passed. He proceeded to take out his own pack.
“I guess you do smoke, huh?”
“Yeah,” he replied.
I found something we both had in common, so I didn’t feel too uneasy around him anymore.
We both just started smoking, not saying a single word to each other.
Ten minutes of silence passed and I was already on the last cigarette of the evening. The bus was supposed to arrive soon.
“So, where are you heading?”
“Nowhere, I’m staying here. What about you?” he asked.
“Home,” I said. “If you don’t mind me asking, if you’re not going anywhere, why are you in this bus stop?”
“I suppose I just need the company,” he said, while offering me a cigarette.
“It’s alright. I’m good for today,” I said, referring to the cigarette. I only said no because of the time.
I checked the time once again and noticed that the bus was ten minutes late. I got up to see if the bus was near. “It looks like my bus is running late.”
“The bus isn’t coming.”
“How do you know?” I asked.
“It’s a holiday.”
Apparently, it actually was a holiday but I never knew because it was one that I didn’t celebrate.
I had two options. The first was to take the thirty minute walk home and the second was to stay a bit longer.
I didn’t really mind either option, but I chose the second. It looked like he really did need the company because he was lonely, and I did too. I mean, if you think about it, I was sitting in a bus stop alone, smoking cigarettes, until this complete stranger decided to start a conversation with me.