my brain splitting in two

Life I met an old friend in the street this afternoon. She'd just finished work, I was on my way to work. When I'm on my way to work, I tend to be focused on one goal. Getting there. Head down, marching onward and sometimes upward, not speaking. So when I was suddenly confronted with this friendly face, I mentally froze and my mouth stopped working. I was literally tongue tied.

My brain split in two -- one half still apparently moving in the direction of my place of employment, the other trying to keep track of what to say to this person I haven't seen in quite some time but was still very pleased was standing in front of me. My mind was recreating a scene from a 70s sitcom were the motorcycle goes one way and the uncoupled sidecar heads off in the opposite direction.

We chatted, though in truth she did much of the talking which isn't like me. We talked about where we'd been, where we were going, and how we were. And I generally smiled, arms crossed (I know!) and trying not to say anything too unusual, constantly aware that my replies and comments were either (a) boring, (b) easily interpretable as a pre-programmed response, (c) incoherent. I hopefully managed to fail on at least two of those points.

Then the moment was over, and we said we should get together properly and catch-up, and we walked our separate ways and I considered what had happened and hoped that she hadn't noticed I wasn't myself. Presumably I'm over analysing but I wonder what she thought. Perhaps it was the same for her. Perhaps all random encounters in the street are like this, it's just that some of us are better at dealing with them than others. Well?

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