I couldn’t be exactly sure how interested she was in this guy’s life story. For that matter, I couldn’t be entirely sure he was addressing her–his conversational tone was a couple knotches above conversational. I could be very sure though that neither May nor myself were wondering what happened to this guy–particularly after he was quite insistent that no no, we could sit right there next to him (thanks, but I like the view from just about anywhere you’re not a whole lot better, pal). And when, whether she was interested or not, he started to explain how he was hit by a bus either last week or the week before (it changed depending on which part of the story he was telling), and going into great detail about how he’s been in and out of hospital since then and all that, I could be slightly more sure that any interest the person he was actually talking to might have had in his life story was quickly switched out for some odd brand of politeness that somehow prevented either her or pretty much anyone else in earshot from punching him in both kidneys on principle. I honestly have no idea how that conversation ended–he was still going on when we got to our stop, but I can only imagine his poor captive audience filed it under “reasons to get a freaking car” and then tried very hard to put as much distance between herself and that conversation as humanly possible.
I have little to no TMI filter. Which, as it happens, is a very good thing–since apparently people I barely know occasionally feel the need to tell me things most people would find way TMI and probably just as many would slap you stupid for asking. Junk like that doesn’t bother me. Odds are you’ll be more embarrassed for saying it than I’ll be for hearing it. But here’s the thing. I usually at least somewhat know the people who end up doing that to me–probably a part of why it doesn’t bother me (the other part being I will probably never have any reason whatsoever to have need for about 95% of the potentially TMI, so it gets filed under “interesting, but useless”). And it usually happens on some kind of messenger, or through email, or–albeit less often lately–in a phone conversation. You know, an environment of somewhat relative privacy–NSA notwithstanding. This guy’s sitting on a public bus, in front of God and everyone, unloading the trials of the past week or two (again, depending on which part of his story you pay attention to) on a woman he’s never met, who’s name he probably has never heard, and thinking she–or anyone else who can hear the conversation–will actually take notice for any longer than it takes for them to get to wherever it is they’re going. I don’t have much of a filter, but I’m fairly sure he dropped his. I wonder if someone’s told him.