A bit of a rant today. I am 50 pages shy of the end of The Goldfinch but I should have been able to finish this morning, had it not been for this overly friendly personality at the coffee shop. This person is sort of the neighborhoody ambassador who hi-and-byes almost everybody who walks by the cafe, which commands the view of the sidewalk through a huge alcove window. My acquaintance with this person progresses from pleasantries in apropos of politeness to casual chit-chat. But as many of you would understand, morning time is a time for quiet and solitude, and I am defensive of my privacy when it comes to reading. Unaware of the need for this privacy, this person takes the liberty to install herself at my table (which is fine as long as she keeps to herself) and starts talking up a storm—about things that distantly concern me, or her. Besides a few polite banter, I decide on the tactic of just keeping to my book and smiling, and so not to encourage further conversation. That seems to work. My being silent has trumped her effort at any further conversation—and hopefully might help her finish the book that she started two months ago but never seemed to be able to finish.
How do you cope with intrusive people?