Prompt: Write about a conversation you’ve overheard.
I keep forgetting to eavesdrop. I keep arriving home and thinking, “I forgot! I forgot to listen to what other people have to say to each other.” But, once,, I remembered today, in a restaurant with plates slapping against each other and music in the background and out-of-range conversations all around me. The only talkers within range kept fading in and out, like a weak radio signal.
I was in a booth with the two men I hoped to eavesdrop upon in a booth behind me; and while one of them was a relatively loud talker, his words were largely indistinct, sounds more than meanings, rumblings that would ocassionally break into words; in fact, the only thing I thought I distinctly heard him say was, “We are having printer problems. One of the printers isn’t correctly defined as ‘Old People.'”
Could that be what he said? That instead of naming their printers, “Office 1” or “East Wall,” they define their printers by . . . customers? Is there another printer named “Young People”? Or are the printers in the office all elderly oriented–“Hard of Hearing People,” “Forgetful People”?
I never learned. The conversation faded back into mumbles. Eavesdropping is hard.