I am simply not wired to deal with the societal pressure to make small talk with strangers.
I don't even make small talk with people I LIKE.
I have sat mere metres away from people I love - in the same house or flat or room - for HOURS and DAYS without feeling the need to say a single word to them and all the while I have heard nary a peep from them either. Why? Because we are comfortable in the knowledge that we are as impressed by each other as we will ever be.
The kind of silence that says, "I'm happy you're here, but nothing either of us says at this point is going to be more important than the game you are playing or the book I am reading. Please let me know when you are hungry."