The Art of Conversation is Like Playing Catch

I was waiting on Electric L-Word Man. I hadn’t seen him in 2 months. I was waiting for houuuuuurs. I was tired of waiting.

Fuck him. I am not sitting around waiting for some man. I went to the pub.

Sat at the bar. Ordered a glass of wine. Boston’s “Long Time” was playing on the speakers and I had recently watched a reaction video of two 30-something black men listening to it for the first time. Their delight in the song made me remember what an epic tune it was. I started singing it at the bar.

The fella next to me said “You like this song eh?”

I told him about the video I had recently watched and how I was hearing the song more appreciatively now.

We struck up a conversation. He had The Energy of a Man. I was attracted to him despite his nondescript t-shirt and flipped around ball cap.

We talked a little bit back and forth. I’d just left my husband. He’d just asked his wife to leave. We were flirty. It was obvious we were attracted to each other.
He was there fixing his sailboat. Actually asked me if I’d like to sail to Nanaimo with him the next day. I considered it for a second.

He asked if I’d like another drink. I did. We continued to talk. But actually, what happened was HE continued to talk. And he was interesting. And dynamic. But he held on to the ball. He held on to the ball. Didn’t toss it my way.

I am an excellent conversationalist. I like to ask people questions regarding what they are talking about. I like to know more of what they are talking about. And people feel seen and heard when you ask questions. They feel appreciated.

The art of conversation is simple. It’s like playing catch. You speak for a while, then you toss the ball back to me. I hang on to the ball for a while and toss it back to you. Maybe you hang on to it for a while, toss it back to me and I toss it immediately back. Maybe I hang on to it for a while. But it keeps getting tossed. We are engaged. We feel seen and heard. Appreciated. We are making energy together.

I remember when my daughter was a baby. We used to sit on the living room floor rolling a ball back and forth to each other. I was inadvertently teaching her the art of conversation. She was learning that the fun of having the ball was tossing it away and knowing it would come back.

What do you do when the ball doesn’t come back?

He’d been going on for far too long. He’d told at least 4 long stories so far. I am an awesome human who has lived an epic life and has energy to burn and he asked me ONE question – what do you do for a living? And he did not build upon that.

What do you do when the ball doesn’t come back?

Well, I am a professional communicator for a living so I decided to give him a free lesson.


Mid-story he was. And I’d had enough. I was getting bored with his self-absorbed. I leaned forward and put my hands on his shoulders, looked him in the eye and said “Can I tell you something?”

He stopped, looked surprised. “Sure.”

“You are very attractive and you are an interesting storyteller but you dominate conversation. You have been talking for a very long time. You have told multiple stories but you have asked me only one question. And that is not fun for me. And I do not feel your interest in me. Do you understand what I am saying?”

He was taken aback by my frankness and was a little defensive. But I was matter of fact about it, not attacking.

“Well, why don’t you tell me a story then?” he asked.

“Because I have to go now. But here’s my card. I am looking for a lover locally so I can have frequent awesome sex. Give me a call when you learn to share conversation.”

Surprise registered even further on his face and I got up. Smiled. This is what you missed buddy.  Fet edit sultry2“May I kiss you?” I asked.

“It depends on where you want to kiss me.” he answered.

I leaned forward and gently kissed his cheek. Let him feel the lingering warmth of my lips. Pulled back, smiled, took my ball and walked out the door.

This night could have had a very different ending had he known how to toss the ball back to me. But I believe his style of communicating is likely the way he lives. I think it’s a good indicator for most people. So. If he calls, I will give him one shot to redeem himself. See if he’s learned how to throw a ball. And if Paula is gonna get laid on the regular.

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