Ostomy Memories of a Monologist


THE GUY AROUND THE CORNER LIKES TO TALK.  Unfortunately, his idea of conversation (sic) is a running monologue.  He does not limit himself to a single subject, either.  He rambles, seemingly out of control, jumping from one topic to another without apparent reason or relationship.  The word salad pours out, not in dribs and drabs, but in gushes, like vomit.  His wife once told my wife that the reason she fell in love with him, years ago, was because he was the smartest person she’d ever met.  He seems to agree with her assessment.  Cartoonist Bill Watterson aptly described this type of fellow:  “Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience.”  To add to the difficulty of dealing with this guy, as he has gotten older, his voice has deteriorated into a kind of hoarse gargle, as if he’s having dental issues or some sort of malady that produces excessive saliva.  So, as you might expect, I avoid him.  If the occasion arises that I see him outside when I’m walking past his house, I increase my pace and don’t slow down again until I am at least two doors down from him.  For those few times when I am trapped into having to endure him for a few minutes, I can’t decide whether my inability to understand what he is talking about is a good thing or not.  Fortunately, he never seems to require any response.  So I just nod and nod, a bobblehead looking for a way out.  


Oh boy, Henry, I have a similar neighbor. She leaves no spaces between her sentences for a, "Hmm, yeah, well, I've got to go make a phone call." Being an introvert, she leaves me exhausted. She's also one of the most generous, helpful people I know so I try to listen but limit my time...

People with tremendous anxiety can talk like this. Their need to quell that anxiety through constant talking is greater than their concern about whether or not we're actually interested or we care. Or they're on the spectrum and can't read the cues. Or they're off their meds (I have a family member like this.)

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My mother used to be like that, God rest her soul. When I used to phone on a Friday night, she would be talking constantly for over 40 minutes, not letting me talk at all. At the end, she would then say, "Are you still there? I can't hear you talking. You're being very quiet." Lol XX


There's a guy at work that never shuts up. Everyone dreads working with him as he says the same thing over and over. It's annoying AF, plus he's a dumbass.


Not to mention, the older we get, the less likely we are apt to put up with this shizz.... Time keeps on slippin' into the future... Bah dump... Bah dump

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Reply to AlexT

LMAO   "...plus he's  dumbass." 


I used to work with a woman like that. She was to be avoided at all costs. If I approached the lunch room and she was in there, I would resign myself to eating lunch at my desk. I think many of my co-workers did the same, as she was usually in there by herself! Sometimes just getting my lunch out of the fridge was enough time for her to ambush me and I would get stuck for a while before making my escape!



Hello HenryM.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with your local  ‘monologist’.

We have a  man visiting our town regularly who has a limited vocabulary and locally he is known as ‘The hello man’. He is very friendly, to the point of being almost gushing. However, it is obvious that many people will deliberately cross the road to avoid being ‘accosted’ by him.

I, on the other hand, tend to be attracted to ‘eccentrics’, and will deliberately engage him in conversation. He does indeed have a limited extent to which he can engage in conversation but he has a pinpoint memory for whatever I tell him during any specific conversation. Hence in future conversations he will refer back to whatever was said by me on previous occasions.

The interaction is quite interesting in that he only seems to want to have a time-limited engagement before moving on to the next person and having almost exactly the same ‘hello-introduction’ as he does with everyone.

I notice that I am not the only person who is willing/pleased to engage him in these brief interactive conversations and it makes me feel that ‘our town’ is one where eccentrics are encouraged rather than shunned.  That’s just as well, as I probably fit into the ‘eccentric’ category myself!

‘Vive la difference’!   

Best wishes


Past Member
Reply to Bill

That's such a kind-hearted response.