Five of us went a bar Thursday and there was a couple of guys speaking Spanish and Bubbles got excited. She is working on her Spanish abilities so ended up talking to one of the guys. She was obviously flirting with the guy. Body langue, hair playing, touching him when she could. I enjoy flirting, but something about the way Bubbles does it puts most of us on edge. It might be a level of jealousy but I think for me it is how oblivious she is to the guy involved. She uses men. She doesn’t care about them. In the five or so weeks I’ve known her I’ve seen her hurt really nice guys and not care and then try and find more guys.
We all finished our drinks and were ready to go around the agreed upon time. Bubbles having ditched us to flirt with the guy at the bar had just started another drink. I hadn’t realized this until I’d come up to her and told her we were all ready to go. I get introduced and then Spanish guy and I start talking about what it is he does and I do. What really surprised me was how easily I dominated his attention as soon as I was there.
I became very aware in a new way the rhythm that people have and how finding that and getting a similar patter is important. Only because Bubbles kept missing it. He would say something that was interesting and I would make a basic noise that would indicate that and encourage him to continue (is there a word for that?). Bubbles would try to get the attention back to her the same way but in a way that killed the rhythm of his story. Like the person who can’t quite clap right during a song. I wish I’d listened in to their conversation before interrupting. It would have been interesting to know if she was leading it or not. I suspect she was. Needing her rhythm to be the driving force.
It is fun to think about a conversation like a piece of music. Different parts coming together to make a bigger piece. Good groups of people to have conversations would be those who let everything blend together and flow. To engage an individual you find their melody and play harmony to it. Building it, accenting it. Letting them be the focus but not hanging alone as a solo to long. People like having attention played to them, so when you can draw that out and engage them they respond.
I’m reminded of a time in high school when I was playing my flute and a friend/crush of mine started playing the piano mimicking what I was doing. He then threw in variations of what I was doing that then I played off of and together we played something far more interesting than what I would have done alone, but it was built off what I started. It was wonderful to have him understand the feeling and rhythm and general direction, but to take it some where new. I was a lot bolder with trying something new with him there.
There is a certain value in having a melody people want to follow, but there is also a lot to be said for being able to play into someone else’s. From there you can change it and build on it as necessary. Bubbles needs people to play to her and she can’t adapt to a different song. She is one of those people when a conversation starts to establish itself with out her she throws in non sequesters, throwing off the beat. It works for her but I wonder how much she feels like an outsider. I know it is hard to be outside of group with an established rhythm
I’ve been considering my interactions with Theater Alpha and Drunk Alpha under that notion. I keep thinking of it as they take someone else’s melody and run with it. Changing the key and the tempo. It is fascinating to see what comes of it and the person is still invested in how it will turn out. You get hints of who they are by how they change it but rarely do you hear their own song. They play and dance with other peoples so well.
There are other people who are dominating by insisting on their melody being played. Often they can be abrasive at their inability to adapt to others. Those who are good at leading pull all sorts of melodies together and work them into a complicated piece of music. Holding many different moving parts together with a common theme. The chemistry between people is how well they can play together.
Theater Alpha and Drunk Alpha were both very good at understand my song and playing off of it. That was what was so wonderful about them. They didn’t play into me but with me, like me.