Constant Corriecraving, or The Awkwardness of Almost Strangers

18 Nov

I have a problem. It doesn’t blight my life but it does create regular moments of social awkwardness. I pass the same guy on the way to work most days, and sometimes on the way home, too. I don’t know him, I know nothing about him, but obviously I recognise him since I’ve seen him several times a week for years. You’d think we’d have struck up an acquaintance over the years. We haven’t. In fact we are condemned to what the Meaning of Liff dictionary would call ‘corriecraving’, without the relief of ‘corriedoo’.

It’s not just him, though. There are all the people who wait at the same small station as me every morning and get the same train to the same destination. I know most of them by sight but etiquette demands that I pretend not to, and we are only permitted to talk to each other when the trains are disrupted.

I once broke this law. In a fit of high spirits after receiving some good news I cheerily wished one of my fellow passengers good morning. Did this break the ice? Did I then have a companion to greet each morning? No, it just made things worse, because then I had to see this incomplete stranger every morning with the added awkwardness of knowing that I had once wished him a cheery good morning. Luckily for me, he soon moved away.

As for my corriecraving companion, that problem should soon be solved, too, since I’m leaving that place of work. Not because of him, of course, but it won’t be one of the things I’ll miss.


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