Talking to Stranger

Written by Winona Wardwell
Art by Inga Seliverstova

Talking to strangers is a game I fail at. Miserably. I have always wanted to be one of those people who can strike up a conversation with anyone and create connections even in the strangest places. I wish I could be like my grandmother who met the son of her highschool teacher while traversing to Peru, or my mother who chatted with my dad’s student on a flight to Amsterdam, or even my little sister who made played quack-a dilly-oh-my with everyone at the airport when her plane got canceled. Why did the genes only miss me? and around strangers I feel equal parts curious and shy.

The beginning of conversations about some small thing that a stranger and I have both experienced I am mediocre at. But then comes the continuation on, the what next, the changing of topics, I am lost. Suddenly, I lose all interest in speaking, and I long to go back to the comfortable silence the stranger and I once had. 

Before I forced myself to make conversation, knowing full well I am a listener not a speaker. I prefer eavesdropping and overhearing rather than talking. I enjoy sitting at my favorite cafe and people watching, yet my family seems to like to partake in the fun.