The nature of life is such that once in a while, you are minding your own business, lost in your own world, racking your brain for the next excuse to give your landlord about the rent when you run into an old friend. Your brain looks up, sighs and goes back to sleep, leaving you to look for old friend’s name alone.
Naturally, you fail and go for the age- old “Hey! What’s up? Look at you, looking good” At this point, the compliment will knock them off balance and they will not notice how your eyes darted furiously from side to side as you kept asking your sleeping brain to give you a name. Pleasantries and compliments out of the way, the conversation would grow into phase one; What are you doing ‘these days’?
This is a beautiful question. It lets old friend regale you with tales of all the amazing things he or she is doing right now that are making the world turn. He’s running a business. She is being awesome at work. He is pursuing a master’s degree. She is taking care of their third child (pregnant pause to let you ask about the other two children).
This phase done, the next phase will sneak in; “Where are they now?” This is where you ask about other old friends; where are they and what are they doing? Did they stop selling narcotics on the corner? Did they give up their burgeoning singing career? Did they finish school? Depending on the people you are gossiping about, this part of the conversation may make a small detour into a memory lane and the two of your will walk down it, laughing and fighting the nostalgia at the same time. Do you remember when we broke into a school van and run off with school bread? (Derisive laughter). And what about that time teacher Nsibambi chased us around the dormitory? (ohohohoho).
This slowly ebbs into the last part of the conversation; where are you off to? (If you have run into each other on the street) or how long are you here? (If you are in a bar). This is the sign that the conversation is over. If either of you felt from part one that old friend’s work could add value to you, you’ll ask for their number. Then there will be the non-teary goodbyes.