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Murray provides the lowdown on the technical specifications of his big rig. Occasionally I’ll find myself in situations like these, bearing witness to people basically delivering a monologue with a few prompts here and there. At times it’s interesting, but sometimes it eventually seems to deposit a glaze onto my brain, which many of the monologuists don’t seem to notice whatsoever. But in Silnai society, listening is a conscious practice, so Wayne is doing his best to follow the thread of the cascade of technical information issuing forth from beneath Murray’s mustache.

It’s usually in road trip situations, particularly riding the bus, that I find these kinds of conversational opportunities. For a variety of reasons, the random conversations on airplanes, if they happen at all, are almost never as interesting. The road has its own magic, which I reckon all of these characters can appreciate.

Gradually, as I’ve listened to people, I surmise that they have some kind of “thing.” Their “thing” might be that they always hearken back to analogies from childhood, or their “thing” might be that they hone in on numerical aspects of life. I guess a more eloquent way to express this “thing” is as a “lens” or a “frame” – it’s a telling aspect of how they view the world and how they define their experiences. In some ways it might define the range of possibilities available. It’s partially formed by circumstance and partially maintained by habit. Many people haven’t consciously examined it at all, perhaps don’t even have a notion that it’s there and is something to consider and reconsider, something that might be outdated, and that they may eventually work at crafting into something more appropriate to the present era of their lives.

In Murray’s case, it’s a glimpse at his own motivations. He likes the best, fanciest and most technically advanced things. And clearly he’s doing pretty well for himself as a trucker.