Every day, we catch glimpses of other people's lives. Sometimes, a whole scene is acted out in our view, as if we were spectators to the play that is their lives, but more often, we catch only the briefest of moments, as if we were flicking through a photo album showing different people set in different backgrounds on every photograph without knowing who the depicted people and where those places really are.
Not all of those glimpses are nice (see http://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/06/should-i-have-helped.html); some leave us indifferent, and a precious few make us smile.
Here are the last two that made me smile:
During my usual lunch break walk, I came past a young woman, almost a girl still. She was pretty and curvy, with long curly hair, and wearing tight-fitting jeans with a t-shirt in the Brazil colours green and yellow. A young man was walking the opposite direction. He had ultra-short hair and a lanky walk. Once the two of them were past each other, maybe 20 steps apart, they both briefly turned their heads back to look at the other one, and immediately back again, when they realized they were both looking.
It was such a normal thing to do - to cast a second glance at someone who strikes you as attractive - and yet somehow... charming.
I walked on, and my mind started spinning a possible continuation of that micro-story, how those two could eventually act on that instant of mutual attraction, stop and talk to each other, and take it from there.
The second glimpse I caught at the station where I wait for my train every morning (stations are a good spot for observing people and later writing about them, it seems).
A train that does not stop at the small town where I work was in before mine, and people went on and off as usual. Just when the doors were closing and the train was set to depart, an elderly man came rushing up the stairs. When he saw the closing doors, he stopped in his tracks and gave a resigned shrug, his shoulders visibly drooping now.
The conductor saw him, calling out and waving him to the one door he was still holding half open, and then extended his hand, helping the now smiling man up the steps and onto the train.
This time, my mind was making up a background story for both the man and the conductor, with the reasons why the man wanted to catch that train, and what made the conductor stop, wait for him and help him.
None of these glimpses will ever make it to a full story, I suppose, but at least the young woman in the Brazil t-shirt, the young man with the short hair, the elderly train passenger and the conductor have now all been eternalized in this here my blog.
And who knows - someone might even read it.