I saw my neighbor on the metro this morning, but I pretended I didn’t. I kept walking, left my headphones in, and opened up my book. It’s not that she isn’t friendly or that I don’t like her. She is very nice and I do, actually, like her. It’s just that I wanted my own time and didn’t feel like spending the energy it would take to continue a casual conversation for twenty minutes.
I’m not sure if she saw me, but if she did, she was playing the same game—a game I respect. A game that says, “I refuse to be sugary and pleasant even when society and chance tell me I have to be.” A game that says, “The most polite thing I can do right now is to not say anything.” That part of the game is one I play a lot.
The world would be easier if we could all be satisfied by sitting alone, politely ignoring one another.