Waiting for my drink at the Starbucks in Vacaville, California I overheard the following conversation. Woman to a man: “So…howya been?”
Have you read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell? It’s about how our brains think intuitively and how we’re usually right when we have a strong sudden reaction to something. So when I heard this question, my Blink reaction was that woman had been in a long and complicated relationship with that man. They had run into each other unexpectedly for the first time since the breakup and were fumbling to get over the awkwardness. His response, “Awright.” in a quiet and detached tone of voice. She had ended the relationship and he was still shaken by it all. My drink arrived before I could hear the answer to her next question, “Still have the bar?”
How do I know that this is what was going on? Because I’ve been in the position of both of those people in the past. The same way I can be in a restaurant and identify the couple that’s on a first date. It’s kind of like returning to a place you used to live. No matter how long ago it was, you recognize it when you see it. Sometimes all it takes is a tone of voice to know a heart has been broken.