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How to Connect Past Smalltalk

Awesome email here -

Hi Sebastian!

One of the 900 here -- and this is my FIRST time ever emailing a Blog. I was a little hesitant to write this actually, in part because I so enjoy your blog that I almost didn't want to "burst the bubble". But after reading a lot of posts and already having spent quite a bit of time previously ( and constantly ) in introspection, I would really appreciate your input on a major stumbling block....


My short question is: How do you connect with someone? And, secondly, based on your preference of doing away with pleasantries / small talk, how do you connect with someone without the seemingly required "pleasantry" stage of a conversation?


On The Mad Ink3r

I used to visit the coffee shop on 24th street, everyday for my normal dosage of caffeine. It started when I was sixteen, working a retail job at Old Navy on 68th street. Normally, I'd catch the train from Long Island, and then get off and walk the rest of the way. There was this African-American guy that would always sit in the coffee shop with his notebook and small dollar cup of coffee.

There wasn't a day that I wouldn't catch him sitting in the same old spot, cornered at the very last table to the back of the coffee shop by the window. On my sick days to work, he'd be in here drinking nothing but that coffee. There may have been once when I saw him with a bottle of water and a croissant.

I was having a bad day one of my days off, so I decided to leave home and take the train to sit in the coffee shop. It wasn't anything significant, but a quiet environment with friendly people who sat at separate tables, either reading newspapers or drinking Lipton Green Tea. That day, there were no more seats so I asked the man who I'd always see writing, if I could have a seat.

"Umm, Hello." I said.

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