By Thalia Lauzon
Let’s say you have a four-hour conversation with a friend. It begins at 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve with your friend telling you her sort-of stepfather murdered his mistress in a car — true story.
However, sometime between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m, you also talk about the best way to cook a steak, how TikTok works, high school crushes and messed up book plots –– and a lot of other topics in between.
Yes, you read correctly. We went from talking about actual murder to discussing fantasy book characters and plot inconsistencies. I don’t think there’s enough brainpower in the world to track our conversation from point A to point B.
This is the first time my friend and I have been extremely confused and conscious about how we naturally transitioned to each topic, eventually ending on a conversation miles from the first topic.
In our seven-year-long friendship, we try a few times a month to track our conversations when they get especially off-topic.
It never works.
Trying to overview a four-hour conversation –– which is a minimum length for our discussions –– would be difficult already, but our combined weirdness and chaotic personalities make it nearly impossible.
I know we went from murder to steaks because my friend got hungry while watching me snack on some pita and hummus. Then, our conversation about TikTok changed to one about social media and cyberstalking, followed by us actually cyberstalking people from our high school. But I know there was more in between and after.
My best defense to our apparent randomness is that we have been friends for so long that no subject, however abnormal, is off-limits. As a result, we segway into new conversations even if just one word sparks a new thought. We also tend to read each other’s minds just by exchanging a glance, which leaves large gaps in our conversations.
Anyone who’s ever witnessed one of our discussions is always confused. We’ve been told by our other friends that the way we communicate with each other is intimidating, especially since we can start in the middle of a conversation after just looking at each other from across the room.
A raise of an eyebrow, a glance in a specific direction or a twitch of a lip equates to a hundred words spoken. And badly mouthing words like we are dying fish is even easier to decipher since we already know what each other would say. It was very fun to do in classes when teachers split us up.
However, this method leaves us with huge holes to fill when we try to look back.
I’ve only successfully tracked one conversation, and it wasn’t with this specific friend.
I was chatting with my roommate the other night. We talked about high school superlatives, environmental politics, game shows and “Doctor Who,” to only name the highlights. That discussion lasted for hours, and it was between game shows and “Doctor Who” where we found ourselves trying to figure out how we got from one place to another.
Sometime before we brought up general trivia and what game show we might actually win, I mentioned “The Weakest Link,” a trivia game show that was apparently referenced on “Doctor Who.” My roommate then talked for about another hour to explain the plot of “Doctor Who” to me.
It took us a while to figure out the connection, but I’ve never felt more fulfilled. It was literally a “my life is complete” moment. I’ve tried for years to track my conversations, to no avail. We even figured out how we transitioned from previous topics before as well.
Though it might be because my relationship with my roommate is different and newer than my older friendship I’m taking this as a win.