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Inconspicuous dangerous little Silence

Pressed into the tiny cosmos of a single hotel!

Amor Towles' A Gentleman in Moscow is a treasure trove. Full of formulations for all those little situations and actions that pop up in everyday life. Here is one of my favourites.

Most of us, when in company, are uncomfortable with silence, no matter what setting we find our selves in.

But there is a special location, an environment where we don't want silence to creep in, at any price. For when we let it succeed, it screams. Yells. Tries to convince us and everybody around us that, after all, we are an absolute boring person. Its sheer presence is a signpost that people should spend their time more wisely than with a slice of bread that coincidentally got wrapped up in a pair of trousers and a shirt.

The location I'm talking about is a restaurant, sitting at a table with someone you care. And here is Amor's take on it:

Surely, the span of time between the placing of an order and the arrival of appetizers is one of the most perilous in all human interaction. What young lovers have not found themselves at this juncture in a silence so sudden, so seemingly insurmountable that it threatens to cast doubt upon their chemistry as a couple? What husband and wife have not found themselves suddenly unnerved by the fear that they might not ever have something urgent, impassioned, or surprising to say to each other again? So it is with good reason that most of us meet this dangerous interstice with a sense of foreboding