August 9, 2008

Waiting and watching the crowd pass by

I hear a strange blend of sounds- a little girl asking her parents questions, the click-click of heels, the squeaking of flip-flops, the clacking of suitcases, loud footsteps on the escalator, and who knows what else.

I wonder, what are these people are thinking? A woman walks by and smiles at our dog. Does she ask herself why a dog would be here? A man talks loudly on his cell-phone. Why would he have this conversation in public? Perhaps he knows that I, or any who observed, would remain in his memory as nameless as he is in mine.

As the people pass and pause, I make eye contact with some. Yet seeing the "windows to their souls" doesn't help me glean much insight. Perhaps I just don't read people well (and I've certainly come to that conclusion before) or maybe they have trained themselves to keep those windows sealed tight, enshrouded by stiff curtains, so others can not see their vulnerability.

Some of the people look exhausted from a stressful day. Others have a blank stare, letting me know that the airport is a very mediocre place to be. But for some children I see, life is still an exciting adventure. They try to squeeze their small hands from their parents' firm grasp. A little boy is walking next to the baggage pickup, using the edge as a handrail, oblivious to the threat of germs or diseases.

Watching these people yields a strange sort of contentment. I will never understand their heart of hearts, but, perhaps, my naive and childish guesses will come near to the truth.


Eunice said...

People-watching - a most satisfying and thought-provoking "hobby."