Thursday, December 11, 2014

Talk the talk, and talk the talk and talk, talk, talk

I have this neighbor now not unlike a neighbor I had in China. A talker. A nice feller, don't get me wrong, but like my friend in Nanjing and like so many fifty-to-sixtyish men I know, they are now men who have flown their last sortie, earned their last trophy, played their farewell rooftop concert, summited their peaks and are now descending. 

They seem to me to be men who fear that at any moment they will be ambushed by oblivion. Whatever it is they have on their minds, knowing they have peaked, "sunt qui summam", now's the time to say it or forever put a sock in it.

He's around my age and brother (as he prefaces every freaking sentence) does he (like my colleague in China) have lots of stories to tell -- none that are interesting mind you. And like my friend in China, he tells me nothing I don't already know. Nothing that gets a laugh out of me. Nothing of interest, really.You could say he is garrulous, loquacious, eloquent in his verbal dexterity. Or you could say he is full of shit.

Why them and not me? I wonder. Why am I more of a listener -- or at least like to think I am?

The ex-pat life can be a lonely one. Loneliness is the trade in for fat tax-free pay checks and free housing. 

Is it that they're at a stage in life when they feel a toxic nostalgia and need to wax it? Are they rueful, affected by enormous regret? Do they just need to spill it all out in order to sleep easier?
Maybe.

Or maybe it is that a man at this age - nearing career's end -- knows he is fading, quickly becoming irrelevant.

It's all behind him. The best of everything. No more reckless, drunken, drug-fueled merriment, No more capricious lawless behavior. No more mind-blowing sex. 

So what's left? Talk There is a hunger it seems to get it all of out their systems while they can still recall the past and can articulate it, however fuzzy they are on the facts.

Me? I like conversation still. I like to volley ideas. And I like to think I have yet to have that one mind blowing sexual experience that will be beyond compare.
Let my epitaph read: Less Talk More Rock.

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