It’s 12:55pm on the 18th day of November. A Sunny Sunday in fact. I am sitting outside Oasis with some spicy tuna sushi and some folk strolling from my computer speakers.
The passersby look with feigned disinterest in what I am doing, but i see what they want. They would like to sit down and talk. I know I would. There i something about sharing stories with a stranger or a long-lost friend. I can not completely comprehend the feelings that well up inside when I run across these situations, but in most cases it goes something like this:
I am listening to bob dylan on my ipod when I come across someone I haven’t seen in a while. They look like they need company. They also look like they are engrossed in whatever they are doing. I can’t tell if that look is genuine or forced. And that is the crux of the problem. Do I interrupt their business and essentially stop their train of thought, or do I walk on by with “feigned disinterest”?
There you have it. I usually pick the latter and walk on by, but later regret not saying hi. Maybe I need to work on that.
The other situation is like I mentioned in the beginning – I am sitting down, somewhere public and usually at an empty table. Most of the time I am the observer – looking from my point of view out into the scene. Other times I might seem ‘into’ my thoughts or whatever, but I can tell you that I am eager for someone to come by and sit down across from me ant start up a conversation. For me, that encounter would be like an unexpected breath of fresh air. Alas, this rarely happens anymore. It did when I was younger – when we were all younger and socially less intimidated.
The lone figure, hunched over his work, sips a cup of coffee from a well-used travel mug beside a cafe, listening to the noises of the neighborhood. A small smile creeps up from nowhere and plasters itself blatantly upon his unusually hardened features. Slowly, but surely the neighborhood sees the figure sitting there. Slowly the people around him do too. Eventually the lone figure lets his smile spread and encompass his entire face. His eyes gleam with the radiance of a summer’s mid-day sun. His expressions soften and liven up as sparkles of thoughts flood his mind. They pour out of his mouth in the form of invitations and greetings. Then, with the awareness of self-confidence, the lone figure stands up, walks to the nearest person and strikes up a conversation that had been his internal monologue for uncounted years. The man and his thoughts were now accompanied by an audience of willing ears. A bright day happened indeed.
May each of us experience our own one day. I know I will. One day.