The Carbon Dioxide Man

Entering the paper shop (newsdealer) in the city center, I came upon what sounded like a passionate dialogue. The man in his late forties was talking about CO2 emissions, statistics and regulations, the Tesla car was mentioned. I zoned out for a moment, realizing this guy here could have probably answered many of the questions my son asked only yesterday. If I would have had to venture a guess regarding his profession, merely based on his appearance and the air about him, my bet would have been on architect or maybe an engineer.
There were two women in the shop, the newsdealer who kept uttering verbal equivalents of a head nod, and another customer, who looked restrained.

As the man left, both women sighed, one of them, the customer, simultaneously raising her eyebrows and her hands in disbelief.  She also pointed I should go ahead in front of her, I guess she needed a moment. I was confused. “What happened?” I asked. I obviously missed something. What I saw and heard prior to his leaving didn’t warrant any eye rolling or eyebrow raising.

The customer gave me a don’t-ask look, and the newsdealer added, “He has been talking for about 15 minutes now, about cars and emissions and whatnot.”

She clearly wasn’t really listening to him, but rather let him talk in fervent anticipation of his departure. The women looked at each other, again shaking their heads. What an inconsiderate person, they both agreed.


I wasn’t there for fifteen minutes, so maybe that would have made a difference, but he didn’t make an impression of a lunatic nor one of those sad ramblers who’ll randomly start up conversations with anyone who will listen.  He sounded like he knew what he was talking about, it was actually interesting, and I was sorry I came in late. To them, however, he was an inconsiderate nuisance.

Was he on a mission? Or, was he merely verbally processing things while digesting them? Was he that lonely to strike up a conversation with a newsdealer? Then again, it wasn’t even a conversation, it seems, but rather a monologue, which points to a man with a mission. Or a lunatic.

But wait. We have a place for that, a place for random ramblings. Isn’t that what social media is for? You can talk about things that may interest someone or no one. You can talk to the air, and get no feedback. Maybe you’ll get a few likes, social media equivalents of a friendly head nod.

What about this text here? Is this, too, just a random rambling, except without any feedback at all, without even as little as a head nod?

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