I like people-watching.
(Hemi-demi-semi non sequitur alert: it always makes me chuckle when I read something like "I enjoy people watching." Oh, the pitfalls of non-hyphenation! But maybe they do mean precisely that whenever they write that. Perhaps because they're exhibitionists?)
I like watching people. Whether I'm sitting alone in a café (smoking section), walking along the beach, riding the bus, whatever. Someone catches my eye for some reason, and I find myself making up stories about him or her in my mind. Sometimes I imagine what life must be like for them (which isn't very hard for me to do at all, even if I have them within my line of sight for just a few seconds).
More often than not though, I try to envision what's running in the person-in-sight-and-attention's thoughts at the moment. Is that waiter counting in his mind the number of tables he has to clean before he gets off work, so that he can go meet his girlfriend? Is that scruffy-looking guy who's humming Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as he sips his cafe latte at the next table thinking about getting a haircut or is he wondering what it must've been like to attend a Woodstock concert? That tall woman striding forcefully in the street, pausing to hoist her big backpack and trying not to look lost...is she drinking in the marvels of a new city while battling with the need to go to the toilet, or is she wondering what the hell she's doing there in the first place?
(Click on the pictures for larger images. They'll open in a new window.)
Is he thinking about how fast he's going, or whether he can go even faster? Of the next trick he can pull to help him get better at what he's doing? Hoping for even stronger wind? Anticipating a beer later in the evening? Is he even thinking about anything at all, for that matter?
Is he wondering what the hell they're doing walking in the street and if the sidewalks jampacked with vendors' wares and other stuff will ever be cleared enough for pedestrians to use again? Is he pondering the possibility of being run over by a motorbike, or is he impervious to their sight, smell, and sound?
Is she thinking about striking a blow in the name of the fairer sex--womanhood--sisterhood, in a sport presently dominated by men? Is she wondering about ways she can make money from doing this? Or is she simply feeling the thrill, the adrenaline rush, that dancing with the wind, sun, and sea can bring?
All over the world, we're all the same somehow. We cry, we laugh, we feel, we reason. We rejoice, we get hurt. We bleed when we're wounded. We doubt. We believe. We complain. We give thanks. We hate. We love.
We pee, we shit, we fart (the only exception being the Queen of England--who Yaxlich claims pays people to do those last three things for her).
Same same...but different.
Yet, though we do and feel the same things generally, there's always a difference--no matter how slight--in the level and intensity of our beliefs, actions, thoughts, and feelings. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Are we all alive, living, as we breathe, eat, and drink? Or are we part of the walking dead? We are human, but are we humane? Whether fat or thin, black or white (or brown), able-bodied or handicapped, learned or illiterate, sunburnt or with deathly-pale skin, we are homo sapiens--physiologically similar but worlds apart when it comes to attitude, intellect, and mental, emotional and spiritual maturity... strangers and kith and kin alike.