On my usual morning ride, I was greeted by Sheryl, Russel, and Counting until their large black bodies were chased by the cat birds and robins. It's OK, they'll be chasing the hawks later.
I roll up to a corner next to a woman pushing a stroller. She is facing the baby and holding two pacifiers. "Do you want the blue one or the green one?" she says out loud.
As I push on I think about that image. A young neatly dressed mother pushing a fairly expensive stroller so I must assume there is some wealth and education associated with this family, at least in my neighborhood.
Who was she talking too? What was she saying?
She is asking a baby who is too young to tell the difference between gaa-gaa- and goo-goo, to choose between two pacifiers based on color and size.
Did she hear herself say it? Was it just speaking to the air? Did she really think the baby would speak out like those weird YouTube videos?
It's the same phenomena that we have when we speak to animals. We usually question the animal in a high pitched voice, as if the same pitch babies must respond to is good for animals.
In my travels I hear more and more private conversations of people walking around holding their ear. Do they really want me to hear them? Do they just want to hear themselves?
The other night while having dinner with a couple, I realized I don't talk to people very much. A brief statement to the cashier at the grocery store or a quick "Morning" to a passing jogger. I have found myself talking out loud to the television set when something ridiculous happens or a great sports play, but I catch myself wondering who is listening. Without being in a social setting, like an office, where people surrounded by others are forced to converse, even if the conversation is about what the television show was last night or how the game ended. It is still verbalizing to others.
So as I rambled on at dinner, I noticed the couple started yawning. Here I was boring them with trite phrases which was a accumulation of life's events not related to anyone else in several weeks.
Since I usually don't "think" before I speak, whatever my first thoughts are what rolls off the tongue.
In the future I will try to fathom "what I say" before I say it, then I will realize no one is listening.