Why is it that people are so uncomfortable with silence?
Seriously, I wanna know. What the fuck is the problem with a little peace and quiet? I realize we live in a big city and all, but ya know, sometimes silence is necessary for reflection. It helps recharge the batteries of the brain. (Of course, that would explain a lot about most people's thought processes--or lack thereof--these days.)
Without at least a little
silence every so often, I become frazzled and irritable. And most
unlikeable. I don't expect the entire world to fall into a hush on my account, but there are things that I, like many people, often do to tune out noise in a noisy environment--headphones, earplugs, etc. They can be great buffers.
Until people stop respecting them. And that's the problem: some brain-dead folksters (who haven't had enough silence in their life, I guess) are so self-absorbed by their need for attention and their stupid phobias about silence that they have to violate this barrier, and come up and start talking. It never fails. Standing on the L platform, at the bus stop, in a line at a grocery store, some Benny or Joon inevitably shambles up to me and starts yabbering. About absolutely nothing. Ignoring the VERY CLEAR signals I'm sending that I DO NOT WANT TO TALK
. If I have headphones in, they'll tap me on the arm or something to get my attention.
Sometimes they have a question. Fair enough. I'll answer it. Sadly, that's never enough--then they have ANOTHER question. And another. And another. They are usually unnecessary questions, since there are FUCKING SIGNS EVERYWHERE GIVING THEM THE INFORMATION THEY'RE ASKING ME FOR.
For instance: "Where can I go to catch the #36 bus?"
"You just follow that sign over there in plain view that says 'This way to #36 bus.'"
"Where does it go?"
"I'm not sure." (I do
know, but I'm not about to spend a half hour explaining it to some lazy dolt.) "There's a map of the route on the sign."
"Where do babies come from?" "What is one plus one?" "Why don't cows fly?" The list goes on and on.
Which leads me to believe that these people don't really need answers, they just want to fill up the void left by silence. Why? What's the matter with them? Why are they so frightened by it? Does it remind them of the cemetery or something? Well, not me
need it sometimes. And those who interrupt it had better be suffering a heart attack, or one of us better be on fire.
I've noticed that CTA itself (which treats us like schoolchildren, except that schoolbuses
are usually on time
) has fallen prey to this horrible phenomenon. When it's not some damned hen party in the back, it's those stupid recorded voice announcements. I noticed again this morning as I was riding the bus (not
the #36) that every time it got silent, those stupid fucking recordings would start playing. I'm sorry, but how many times
do we have
to be told to keep our bags off the seats, to report vandalism or suspicious behavior, to give up our seats for elderly people and preggos? Here's a news flash: the people who don't observe good CTA etiquette are assholes, and they're not going to change their ways because Mr. Roboto tells them to. There's absolutely NO reason to play this shit over and over again. Add this annoyance to the half hour waiting for the bus in the freezing fucking cold and you needn't wonder why we're all so grumpy in the morning.
Perhaps I should go and live in the library. Books, peace and quiet--and somebody on staff to shut the teenagers up! My kind of environment...
Conversely, I could just start carrying a taser. Oh, the satisfaction...