So, I had to go to the store to buy dinner fixin’s, right? Well I’m in the checkout line, and the lady behind me just starts talking to me about everything. No, I mean EVERYTHING. She’s English, been here about twenty years, and divorced her Italian husband because he was hitting her for many years. Her son is a womanizer, but her daughter is a genius who speaks three languages and lives in Japan. I was told a lot more in the span of ten minutes, but you get the idea.
This is not an unusual occurrence for me. I’ve always had this weird kind of magnetism that makes complete strangers open up to me without prompting. It used to freak me out, like when I was 11 and a lady on a public bus told me that she was cheating on her husband. It’s not something you’d normally tell a stranger, and certainly not a little kid. And yet, nobody every really stops mid-confession and looks at me and says, “Oh wait, telling you that was really inappropriate, wasn’t it?”
I’m not sure how to sum up my super power, but in person, I generate a sense of trust. People feel like they can tell me anything, even though they don’t even know my name. They often tell me they feel like they’ve known me forever, and that I’m instantly familiar. Obviously, this power does not work online, but I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing. For one thing, whenever people confess like this, I’m really not sure what to say. Mostly I nod a lot and let people get stuff out of their system. On the other hand, it does give me a LOT of new material to work with.
I sometimes think I should try to write a story about someone like me. But the concept sounds so incredible and illogical that I struggle with how to tone it down and make it more realistic for a story. Fiction demands a logic for everything, even if it’s a twisted kind of logic. In the real world, lots of things occur “just because,” but you can’t get away with that kind of “weak excuse” in a story.
If there is an explanation for my “power,” I will never know it. I can only accept that this is one of my quirks. But in a story, I would want to make up a reason for why it happens.
I know I’m rambling, but moments like the checkout confessional make me wonder if maybe I exude some kind of “writer vibe.” It’s like I’m subconsciously broadcasting, Please, tell me your story.
Now, if only I could figure out how to turn it off and on as needed…