And what I mean by that is … what I saw was a reminder of what life is all about.
So what happened exactly?
A normal Sunday. Around. 1o o clock in the morning. I’m sitting alone in the corner of a cute Italian coffee-shop where they sell the best espressos I’ve ever tasted so far. This is obviously a big part of the reason why I go here every morning. But not entirely. I also go here to eves-drop on conversations. This way I gather inspiration for my work and store them in a notebook for whenever I’m in need of ideas for a written dialogue. What I do is that I carefully note down the person’s words, their gestures, their unique attributes. And let me tell you – each conversation is entirely different and true to its stereotype:
-The couple on their first date; Nervous voice, shaky hands, awkward questions.
–The business meeting between the new employé and the boss; Excitement, loud voices, energetic hand-movements.
-The retired couple on vacation; Relaxed faces, smiles that light up the whole room, mundane conversation topics.
But today I saw something different – something that put a spark in my eyes and lit a fire to my soul:
A couple who look like they could be around 20 – 21 enters the café and sit down by the table next to me. Immediately, I’m able to spot where they’re from – The boy; Blonde, curly hair, blue shiny eyes, reddened skin, tall. The girl – brunette, brown eyes, fairly light skin. They’re from the States.
“So, where did we end our conversation earlier?” the boy asks after the waiter has handed them two ice-lattes.
“How do humans store their memories.” the girl replies and casually puts her iPhone aside.
“Oh right! What would happen if a human cloned themselves? Would they have the same memories or would they start from zero?”
I stop reading my book and look up to the ceiling as to pretend I’m staring at something while listening to their conversation. For a whole hour, sentences flow out of their mouths without stop: Ideas, patterns, psychological aspects of the human mind, physics. Soon the conversation takes a turn into the more advanced theories about the world, such as Quantum mechanics, alternative universes, the probability of aliens being single-celled organisms, the differences between the brain-state and the mind-state, how human beings only think in algorithms etc. My eyes are glued to the wall and my mind is swimming around in delicious new ideas, facts, statistics, and terminologies. I am their listener, but I am also their student.
That hour of eves-dropping made me think in different ways, contemplate new ideas and form new, interesting conversation topics with my friends later. Not to mention — I regained my hope for our millennial generation. They were only kids. Yet, they were knowledgable, capable of seeing patterns and interested in unlocking the secrets of the world.
They were interested. Not interesting. And THAT is the kind of youth that we need more of today.
Before today, I thought they didn’t exist anymore. I thought iPhones and Computer screens had ruined our attention span and altered our ego. But here I was, listening to something which later in time would prove me wrong.
I realized how ignorant I still am and how much there is yet to learn. And this … gave me hope.
So don’t give up on us. Continue to believe in magic. This couple was more infatuated by each other and their ideas than they were in their iPhones – and THAT is a miracle in itself.
Aftur S. Nerdrum