Friday, February 10, 2012

I've Got My Eye On You.

Sometimes I like pretending that I'm doing this blog thing as a full time job. I sit at a coffee shop and type away on my macbook, looking at all the mothers having their lunch dates with other moms. Usually, I'm one of a small group of guys sitting there in the middle of the day. I like to think that people see me typing away and assume I'm working on something. Most of the time, they're right, but there is the occasional instant message that I'm responding to or a message board post I'm leaving. They won't even know the difference. To them, I'm working on the next great American novel, but really I'm just responding to a friend's "sup?" OK, maybe they're not thinking that, but that's how I choose to believe it.

People watching has always been one of my favorite 'past times'. I don't really consider it that since I don't go out of my way to actually watch people. It's something that we seem to do when there is nothing left to do while we're in public. You can usually see men partaking in this 'activity' while sitting outside of a store, waiting for their other half to come out after spending more than the guys wish they had. I have to admit, the mall is quite possibly the best spot to people watch.

I can remember going to the mall as a teenager and spending most of my time just watching people go about their shopping. When you're a teen, there's not much money in your pocket, so you walk the mall without ever buying anything. My friends and I would perch ourselves on a bench or table and just comment on people who walked by. Being teens, sometimes the nicest things don't pop out of your head. But I was never that kid. I let my friends poke fun while I watched people, wondering what their lives were like.

That's usually when I start wondering if my life is real. I don't mean in the existential sense, I'm talking about The Truman Show kind of 'real'. I'd watch these strangers and wonder if they're just actors in a show based on my life. Even typing this, I wonder if there are cameras focused on me. You're probably thinking that I'm some sort of egomaniac, but I dare you tell me you've never had the same thought. It's a completely farfetched idea, but I'm guilty of wishing it were true sometimes. Luckily, it's not.

So, I smile at strangers. I don't know what's going on in their lives and who knows where they're headed to, or where they're coming from. I'm not filled with those answers, but I know this world could use a lot more kindness, even if it's a split moment we share together while sitting in a coffee shop.

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