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THE BEST CONVERSATION

Once, early this year, when I was being interviewed for a part time job,
I was asked to describe my personality and it took me several minutes to come up with a single sentence description of my personality. I realized I had never really taken time to understand my personality better and I was uncomfortable: wasn't this what people knew right from time? Of course I lied. I told the interviewers that I was an outgoing person and could cope in any situation or with anyone because I knew that was probably what they needed to hear anyway, and true enough, they nodded in satisfaction (You should know I didn't get the job). During that interview I swore I'd go home, access myself and come up with what my personality really is. I didn't.


Two weeks on and I still hadn't gone through with my personality assessment until one day, probably a month after the interview, a friend of mine casually said,   "...you are so quiet most times, it beats me how we're friends." I was shocked. She had just finished taking a long phone call and I was busy surfing the net with my phone. I paused. Honestly. Here I was thinking I was an outgoing individual and sometimes slightly over-the-top extroverted all my life.
I paused and a lot of memories flashed through my mind, almost all at once, not so fast, not so slow but good enough for me to sieve out some really remarkable events I had witnessed in my lifetime. Events that reminded me how much of an introvert I am in reality. Like one time I was on a bus in my way back to school, the guy seated close to me had tried engaging me in a conversation and I had only answered him shortly with a "fine, thank you". The rest  of the conversation I thought we had, were all in my mind. Same with the time I spotted an old classmate of mine in a boutique and mentally said a cheerful, " hey Steve, it's been a long while, come over here and give me a hug will you?" And so many other examples I will not mention here.


In the course of a deep personal analysis of my personality, I had come up with some few truths.


1. I hold a whole lot of conversation in my head than I really did with people. It could differ from any scenario with anyone at any given location that comes to mind. So next time we're together and you think I'm all quiet, I might be deep in conversation with someone else, somewhere else, yes,  and all in my head.

2. I am not a conventional introvert. I tend to be mostly quiet in real life situations, not because I'm being snubby or uptight but because I'm slightly_scratch that, mostly shy. You could catch me all noisy on a good day though.

3. It takes a really good conversationalist to get me talking and remain interested in any conversation. If you are great in holding conversations then there's a high chance we could get talking and laughing like old pals.

4. I always panic about what next to say in any conversation: I do not want to be labelled a "conversation killer". I literally take time to think and rethink every response to every conversation with anyone except I'm angry, moody or really mad. In these cases, I'd say anything and feel bad when I revisit that conversation, in thoughts or by revisiting the chat.

5. I am a conversation killer; but hey, I always try to avoid it. Why do you think I always use one thousand "Lol's" and snigger in conversations; whether texting or physically. Plus I easily get tired of conversations. Don't worry, it might not be you, I'm generally lazy towards most things anyway or then again, maybe it's you. You might be very boring or worse still, you keep saying crappie stuff as; "hey sexy." or "i "(Which I came to discover is an inhumane texto form for "hi") and other examples I'm too tired to mention.

6. I live in absolute denial of my personality; In some part of my mind and that of some, easy enough to be fooled, I am really OUTGOING and JOVIAL. I always try to deny how hopelessly quiet I can get, mostly in my mind too. I never complain out loud. Except of course, we are really close and it's midnight.

7. Sometimes I get confused at my reactions to situations I already have a default response to. Like yesterday, I went bonkers and screamed at the Keke driver when he drove past the route to my house. I was not wrong but I was surprised I even talked_ I mean, "screamed". My default response would have been to simple shut up, alight the Keke and walk the rest of the way home. Sometimes, I really do surprise myself.

8. I may have suffered from multiple personality disorder without even knowing; most people do at some point without even being aware. One time in Secondary school, I made myself believe I was a high school Queenbee and thus conducted myself as one_ for a week. It was too tedious to continue.

9. Number 8 just came into mind as I was typing Number 7. It does not mean I'm crazy. As I said, at some point you must have thought you were some one you weren't, right?? Or I'm I really crazy enough to have been the only one in the world to?? Hm.

10. This article is slightly fictitious and also partly a fractional biography, that is of my personality. You'd only be able to guess which parts are real or true about me or not except you're really close to me and pay attention to details. Even at that, I don't think you'd be able to guess every one right.

11. I have no idea what grammatical blunders I may have committed in Number 10, or this entire article. Thus, I couldn't correct them.
 
Last week though, I had a great conversation with a nice guy. He really is. He's name is Pete, can you imagine? That's a neat name. I don't know why but maybe it's also because Pete Edochie is a great actor and portrayed the character of Okonkwo of " Things Fall Apart" excellently.
I'm big on names. I strongly believe names affect individuals. I also associate names of people I've just met with those I know, either closely or not. It's just like bearing Goodluck or Obama or Oprah or Genevive or Mark. These names ring a bell because there are also names of really exceptional men and women who have impacted positively. If you bear any such name, my attitude towards you would naturally be a nice one. On the other hand, If you bear names like, Osama or Kim or Judas or Jezebel or Lindsey, don't expect me to be nice because I won't except you give me strong reason not to. (I'm not insinuating these individuals have impacted the society negatively, (oh yes I am) I'm only saying I wouldn't want to be a Lindsey or Kim when I grow up).


That said, I was really glad to have met Pete because he is a good guy and I happen to admire Pete Edochie's talent. We talked, boy did we, for three minutes, and it was the best conversation I'd had in months. How'd we meet? We'd met at a bustop. I was getting back from work, it was past 4:30pm already, I had expected to catch a bus as soon as I got there but it wasn't to be. I had to wait half an hour or more for the next bus. Then I saw Pete.
He was not dressed handsomely neither did he possess any special features, well except you think thick, dirty, frustrated looking dreads are special. I don't, so there was nothing special about Pete like I said. He was smoking something though. It wasn't cigarette, I could tell but I didn't what exactly it was. He was seated at the left end of the bench so I took the other end. He moved close, until he was only a few inches away from me. I panicked at first but then I relaxed. "Hey this guy looks harmless",  I said to myself
He didn't outdo himself. He started by introducing himself. He offered me the thing he was smoking but I politely declined. He nodded. I nodded back. "Beautiful weather", he said and I smiled and said in my mind, " yes, indeed, beautiful weather indeed". He was still smiling and then grinning widely, he said to me, " how long do you think you'd be here?"  I thought really hard and answered in my mind, " I'm thinking anything from half an hour from now or more..or less" . He smiled and nodded again as if he'd heard me. I smiled to myself, this was ridiculous, mind- talking to a bum high on whatever he was smoking, it'd be my social death if anyone guessed what was happening right there at the bustop.
He continued, " I was once in the military. Oh boy, was it fun, those days we got to march through forests singing war songs and shoot at the opponent like madmen. Ha. Those were the days." "Really? How interesting", I answered excitedly in my mind. "Fascinating". " Indeed", he said. And continued, " these days, I only smoke and think of Osas, my friend, the bulletproof soldier of all times. Nothing ever killed him in battle. Until he died of malaria in '97."  He took a long drag of his whatever-it-was-he-smoking and flashed his teeth at me. I smiled at him this time. Quickly though,  before other people at the bustop would see me. As the bus approached and I stood to get in, I whispered, " that's a lovely conversation Pete". He must have heard me because he laughed and laughed and laughed until the bus took off.


That was honestly the best conversation I'd had in months. Why? Well, first of, Pete is a nice guy. Now please do some exercise for me; how many nice guys do you meet in a day or a week or month? Yep. Thought as much. That's how many great conversations I've had in my lifetime. As they (the conversations) depend on a nice guy with great conversational skill. (You should now be able to understand why I'm all over the top about the half-crazy half-mind convo i had with Pete.) It's something rare for me.
And of course my personality story does not end here. Im only taking a pause because frankly I'm lazy to go on. Maybe some other time I'd be fit to take out my thumb and type another story about my personality here. Or not.


g.o.
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