Riding the bus in this morning, I was feeling pretty good. It was warm, I had a coffee that was ever so yummy, and people were looking each other in the eye again, no more hiding behind layers of insulation against the weather. As I sat on the bus, drinking my coffee and re-reading a favorite Vonnegut book, there was an older man, definitely down on his luck, possibly homeless, who got on the bus and sat in front of me. He struck up a conversation with the gentleman across the aisle from him, and although he was rough around the edges, he was by no means unintelligent. He said something part way through their conversation that has stuck with me. "I don't talk to strangers." He insisted, "I talk with interesting people."
What an idea.
How else do we make friends but by talking with interesting people.
Now these two men were definitely from different worlds and only adjoining seats the Rte 1 bus would have brought them together. But they had a pleasant conversation about life, family, weather, and the world at large. Never once did the gentleman who was down on his luck ask for money, he only asked for a conversation to pass the time between Harvard Station and Central Square.