him: you tired?
me: *after a beat* hmm? me? oh, yes. very. long day.
him: something something something work
me: *shakes brain awake* *attempts to decipher what he said over the beeping of the grocery items being scanned* *stares at him*
him: where do you work?
me: *thinks to self, didn’t we just establish i’m tired? and now you want to Talk?* *shakes brain awake, again* i work over at [redacted] in publishing.
him: that’s so cool. there are lots of smart people over there. i bet you’ve got a lot of books with all those ideas floating around over there.
me: [i’m not exactly sure what he said because it was full of soft spoken words and mumbles. i’m assuming it was something like that.] *thinks to self, OMG. is this what it’s like talking to me?* hmm, yeah.
him: i’m going to patent my idea for massaging shoes.
me: is that because you stand on your feet all day?
him: yeah and there are some MIT kids who are starting something similar, so i’m working with a patent lawyer to get the idea as mine and then they can do all the work. i just want 40% of the profits. i’ve had that idea since i was 16.
me: *catches about every other word* oh?
him: and if that doesn’t work out, i’m going to go into nursing. that’s what my dad did.
me: my brother in law’s a doctor, so i know all about how much he values the nurses.
him: being a doctor is hard and too long.
me: that’s for sure. i don’t have the stomach for it. a nurse though, that’s very respectable.
him: yeah. i just don’t want to be here for too long, you know?
me: sure. you’re ambitious.
him: yeah. i’ve got that.
i swiped my card for payment as he packed up my groceries.
him: good luck with your publishing.
me: *stumbles over attempt to say good luck with your future attempts with nursing or patenting that shoe idea or wherever your ambition leads you.* good night.
it’s hard to hold a conversation when you’re tired and the person talking is quiet. it required more focus than i had at that moment, but boy, i promise to be better about not mumbling because that was a frustrating conversation full of mis-starts, missed words, and misunderstandings.
however, i am partial to the way he said goodbye. it’s like he was telling me good luck not with my day job, but with my dream.