Patrick sat down and ordered a superficial conversation. The woman behind the bar went to work.
“Been drizzling all day, and last night, too,” Patrick mumbled. Already he was feeling the warmth in his gut.
“Why not take off your coat. It’s wet,” she said.
“No, I really got to be going. Just ducked in for a quick one. But could you also give me an answer before I leave?”
“Sure, what’ll it be?”
“Just a short one.”
“What’s your question?”
“Uh, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Wait, I know, what was the final score?”
“Two zip,” she fired back with no hesitation.
The news was harsh but Patrick took it in stride. “Thanks, I needed that,” he said and got up. Patrick left a 10 on the bar and walked out without saying goodbye.
On the street those few words braced him against the lousy weather. Still, he worried.
He knew it was not healthy for him to frequent that scene, especially so early in the day. Whenever Patrick began to have human contact, even just some off-the-cuff conversation, he would feel his will weaken. He knew he could never quench his desires.
Patrick couldn’t just gab socially. Chewing the fat might sound harmless to you or me but for a chronic conversationalist like Patrick, it easily could lead to a dialog overdose. Patrick on more than one occasion had passed out from pure parlance, so susceptible was he to the spoken word.
It was a hard fact of life. Patrick knew he had a problem. He couldn’t let it go at small talk. He had to face it. His vow of silence was not working. There were no two ways about it, he was addicted to dialog and was having one hell of a time staying on the wagon.