Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Are you a people watcher?
I've always been a cross between an observer and a space cadet. Three scenes play over in my mind at random times, I'm guessing because each one was emotionally charged and each one was riveting to me.
Years ago while I was washing dishes, screams outside my kitchen window yanked me out of my head. Three women ran out of the unkempt yellow house two doors down. The husband/father was a drinker and I stayed clear of him as a rule. He came charging after them. He caught one of them by the arm and hit her across the face so hard she flew back into the recycle container.
Years ago again I was at the grocery store waiting in the self-checker line. I couldn't stop watching the couple in front of me, young, beautiful, and more subdued than I'd ever witnessed in people actually walking around. They didn't talk to each other when the computer wouldn't cooperate, instead they had this strange nonverbal back and forth that had me tilting my head in confusion and curiosity. Eventually it was my turn to check my groceries, so I left the puzzling duo in favor of my own business. Just as I was climbing into my car, there they were at their car. She waited at the passenger door as he walked around to open her door. I had my belt clicked, keys in the ignition before he finished closing her door. Goodness, they were on a different plane of existence. I leaned over the wheel to watch more because what was happening in their universe? How could they look so calm and move as if walking through mud? He finally finished loading the two bags of groceries and climbed in. He looked at her. She looked at him. Then with a sudden move of total claiming he slipped his hand behind her head and pulled her into a kiss.
A few months ago on the last day of elementary school for my oldest boy I checked myself for any wayward emotions that would have me hugging unsuspecting teachers and parents and possibly even crying. Nothing. With the coast clear, I found Will and hurried to the car because I could feel the sneaky emotion rising to the surface. I made it to the car. Will was elated to be done with school. Just as I shifted into reverse I saw a father of one of the kids walking down the front steps. His face was twisted in agony, compelling my foot to step off the gas. He wrapped his arms around his stomach and folded over slightly. Again the look on his face compelled me to stay put. I had my hand on the door. He looked like he's dying. And then I saw what I can't stop seeing in my mind because I've never witnessed it in my life, tears streamed down his face. The man was crying his heart out and I realized for the first time no man has ever cried in front of me.
So I people watch. How about you?
(By Singer Ron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)