As the days drift along at this spa place I go to in Mexico, I am aware that there are less and less people showing up for the moderate seven A.M. morning hike. I assume that as the week wears on, more and more people are ditching the seven A.M. hike, and sleeping in. I quietly congratulate myself on my comparative virtuosity. Here it is, Wednesday, and there I am, on time and ready to hike.
The following insight took me, what I've been told, is thirty-four visits to the ranch.
The guests who are not appearing for the moderate seven A.M. morning hike are not, in fact, skipping the seven A.M.hike and sleeping in. They have instead moved on to more strenuous hikes.
That depart even earlier.
Instead of being comparatively virtuous, I was actually letting myself off the hook.
At dinner, there is no assigned seating. You arrive at the Dining Hall, and are seated at any table (of eight) where there'a are still empty seats. I like this casual arrangement, because being seated at random tables, allows me to circulate, and, as a result, connect with a greater number of guests. (You cannot, unfortunately, meet everyone. Sometimes, on the bus ride back to the airport, I end up sitting beside some Nobel Laureate in a subject I always wanted to know about, or someone who might in some way be able to help me, or the simpatico conversation person of my dreams, but was, sadly, never seated at their table.
In contrast to some amazing past interactional experiences, last night, I was seated at a table that reinforced my gloomiest vision of humanity, which is, and forgive me if this sounds superior,
Not everyone is interesting.
First of all, possibly skewing my perception towards the negative, nobody at the table would talk to me. This is never an encouraging sign. Not that I require myself to be the unswerving center of attention. But it was starting to feel like High School.
When my rejecting table-mates talked to each other, the conversation included (with two guests living in San Francisco) an extended discussion about which route they had chosen to take to the airport and why. Another guest explained, at length, his job, which involved inspecting suspect buildings in need of retrofitting. Then the entire table, excluding me, engaged in a prolonged discussion of an esoteric massage technique it turns out none of them knew anything about, and which I coincidentally knew quite a bit about but remained silent, for fear participating in a conversation I was, judging by the signals, not welcome to join. (At one point, the woman sitting on my left, actually repositioned her chair, so that her back was deliberately facing my direction.)
This was the most excruciatingly boring not to mention unfriendly group of people it had ever been my misfortune to be seated with. I was seriously thinking of faking a heart attack, so I could be taken out of there, and driven to a hospital.
ME TO AMBULANCE DRIVER; I'm okay. I just needed to get away from those people!
And then, just as I was about to stick a fork in my eye, to determine if I were still alive, (being dead, a that point, being wishful thinking), perhaps the most truculent of my table companions, a woman, who's dismissive response to one of my attempting-to-join-the-conversation questions had made me feel smaller than an ant, began talking about her job,which included occasional forays as a forensic pathologist.
The examination of a body whose occupant was supposed to have died five months earlier, revealed evidence that they had succumbed much more recently. Upon further investigation, it turned out that the body had been stored in a refrigerator, thus obscuring the "Time of Death." This evidence (uncovered by this truculent woman, now suddenly fascinating) led directly to the apprehension of the murderer.
Another case involved "murder by poisoning", a third, a total dismemberment (though the murderer had foolishly not carried off the head and the hands, allowing for the identification of the body, which led to their arrest.)
Suddenly, I was dining with that red-headed autopsy lady from Law & Order. The woman was a Fountain of Fascination. I had entirely misjudged her.
As had she and the rest of the table misjudged me.'
I am really interesting.