“I was at Guantanamo before it was hip.” Spoken by some old guy in a bomber jacket outside the Blue Oyster Cult (aka Geezerpalooza) concert at Slim’s on Thursday night. Don’t ask me if he was serious or delusional; I decided it was best not to ask.

This wasn’t even eavesdropping, since he was talking loudly enough for the whole block to hear. I must admit, though, I sometimes tune into these weird conversations, but only when I don’t know the people. How can I help it? I’m curious, I’m constantly trying to come up with fictional backstories for the people around me, and I had a fiction teacher in college send us to the quad and the coffeehouse to listen to the world around us. I’d never realized before that just how quickly a snippet of conversation could be spun into a whole story. It makes bus rides and waiting in line much more interesting. Unfortunately, more often than not, people are talking about the inanities of life: how many calories they consumed, how their pet poodle is a genius, or worst of all, who might win American Idolatry. No thanks, I’ll tune into my own private conversation at that point.

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