I’m at LAX. It’s around 8:30 p.m. I’m relaxing in an off to the side seating area waiting for a seriously delayed connection flight to arrive so we can board. I have some time on my hands. I have a book I’d like to be reading. It’s resting unnoticed in the seat next to me. I may be ignoring my book, but I’m transfixed by the stream of people to my left walking to their gates, rolling suitcases—mainly black— in tow. I can’t take my eyes off of them.
I’m categorizing them by gender, age, body size and shape, hair color and cut, wardrobe and footwear idiosyncrasies, walking style, cell phone users, and traveling status: accompanied or unaccompanied. This all interests me, but I’m hooked because I can’t stop wondering who these people are. What are their lives like? They each have a compelling story just like you do.
I’m intrigued by people’s stories and especially by how they interpret their lives and try to make sense of them. If it were possible, I’d like to know this intimate information about everyone I see, let alone meet.
It’s not all that hard to learn about people. You just have to ask questions you’d like to know the answers to. If you’re genuinely curious about someone they’ll usually open up to you. I think with the right approach I could convince one of these people to talk to me and hey, they might enjoy the entertainment factor of being “interviewed.”
How could I pull this off? Maybe I could just walk up to someone and say, “Hi, my name is Michael and like you I’m here to catch a flight. Mine happens to be delayed and I was wondering if you might take a few minutes to answer some questions about yourself—just for fun. This isn’t for a reality show; it’s just for me, and you too, of course. I like learning about people. It’s sort of what I do for a living….”
Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do that.
Why don’t you be my interviewee? That seems more doable. Come on, indulge me, who knows when my flight will leave. Imagine you’re a fellow traveler, you don’t know me, but I seem friendly enough and your plane doesn’t leave for a while either. You’re feeling adventurous—you are traveling after all— so why not give this question and answer thing a go. Great, I like your enthusiasm.
Answer each of the following questions—no skipping! Don’t over think them; just respond with what first comes to mind. Remember, you don’t know me. I’m someone you’ve met at an airport that you’ll never see again. Total freedom. Take your time. Let’s jump in.
What makes you happy?
What drives you crazy?
What do you believe?
Who do you trust?
What do you think about most of the time?
What are your dreams?
Do you wonder why you are in the life you are in; why you are on the planet; why life exists at all?
Are you lonely or do you feel alone?
In general, do you feel powerful or weak or something in between?
Is life a mystery to you, or a puzzle you would like to solve?
Do you have regrets? What are they?
Is there someone you feel you should forgive? Who? Why?
If you don’t have them, would you like children? Why?
Do you think you’re here just once, or that you go to heaven or hell for eternity, or that you return to another of many lifetimes?
Do you believe in God?
Do you feel you have a purpose? How would you define it?
How important is money to you? Why?
Do you like music? What kinds?
Are you into sports? Which ones?
What was life like for you as a child? An adolescent? A young adult?
Do you read books? What kinds?
What are your online habits?
What is your relationship to food?
What is your relationship to pornography?
What is your relationship to sex?
What is your relationship to sugar?
Are you in a co-dependent relationship?
Are you in love with someone who does not love you back?
What’s the biggest secret you have in your life?
Are you curious about life?
Are you healthy or struggling with an illness?
Did someone tell you they loved you today?
Was your heart broken recently?
What is your relationship like with your family?
Do you have close friends?
Do you have a pet? What is its name? Why that name?
Do you like to travel?
What is your body image like? How does it make you feel about yourself?
Do you drink alcohol? How often?
Do you smoke cigarettes? How often?
Do you smoke pot? How often?
Do you do other kinds of drugs? How often?
How much caffeine do you consume?
Do you gossip?
Are you self-critical?
Do you believe the “Universe” presents things to you?
Are you addicted to something or someone?
Do you exercise?
Do you meditate?
Do you think of yourself in relationship to the planet?
Are you actively creative?
Are you political?
Are you discouraged with where you are in your life or do you look at life as a work-in-progress that requires both effort and patience?
Do you think in spiritual terms or in more personally focused ones?
Do you think life is worth living?
That last one is especially important. Send me your answers. I’ll read them on my return flight.
Time to board my plane.