Have you ever found yourself walking down a long hallway, and notice someone that you know at the other end of the hall? Naturally, your first instinct is to say hello, and their response is to say hello back. But then you both realize that you’re walking towards each other, so what do you do then? I mean, you can’t really start a conversation, since you’re too far away for that, but then again, you can’t really approach each other in absolute silence, right? So you’re slowly getting closer to that person, not quite sure whether to shout some remark about the weather at them, or to just smile at them and try to communicate with your eyes, desperately hoping that your powers of telepathy will manifest soon and save you from this dilemma. You start to regret the fact that you greeted them far too soon, but then you decide that was best, since they’d notice you anyways and think you were blowing them off if you didn’t say anything until they passed by, at which moment they would have heard you mutter some form of hi, hello, or rhetorical question at them. You decide this time you’ve got it wrong, but next time, you’ll get it right. Next time, you’ll pretend you’re having a conversation on your phone, only noticing them as they pass by, flashing them a casual smile as you speak to your nonexistent companion. Next time, they’ll notice that you’re busy, and you’ll avoid the long, silent gravitational pull between two people who have prematurely exhausted all respectable social options. But right now, it’s awkward.
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