The first thing you learn when you pull up a chair and face down that awkward semi-circle of bleary, knowledge-hungry faces is that you are not allowed to “like” anything or anyone. Ever. You are only allowed to notice. Notice the blue dog, the simile about the sunset, the way they had her storm out—Yeah, I saw that too. You keep it simple and obvious. You are building from the foundation up—you aren’t ready for the heavy ornaments of pretentious analysis.
It’s odd. By the end of it you don’t know how to communicate, how to think, any other way. You start to see everything: who missed class, where that one guy’s shirt is missing a button, the inflection in someone’s voice when they say “aerodynamic.” It changes you. You will drift through the rest of your afternoon, six inches above the ground saying, I see a squirrel in that tree! Why are there no lids for the travel cups? The floor is especially sticky over there. If you are lucky this will stay with you, and on a particularly wonderful day someone will stop and say, I noticed you over on that bench, may I join you? Then you will know that you will never be alone again.