As far back as I can recall, I have on many occasion sat for hours in coffee shops, bistros, sidewalk cafes, bars, and of course airports, precariously positioned so as to witness life unfold around me. I imagined the lives of those around me - what their world was like, where they were going, who they loved, what they had lost - and often I found myself writing poems or stories about the life I created for them in my head.
It occurred to me one afternoon (nearly a decade ago) as I was riding around on a beautiful spring day in a BMW convertible with a handsome fellow I used to know, that somewhere, someone has done the same thing to me...
Cruising ‘round town…I'm certain, more often than not, that the stories we write within our minds of the lives of strangers are far more colorful and interesting than the realities we create for ourselves on a daily basis.
Looking cute in my red lips & shades—
Form fitting top & low cut jeans,
Framing a glimmer in my navel—
Confidently sexy in my new slender curves…
Riding beside my hot Latin stud
In his sleek black Z-3—
Past gazing onlookers, wanting more…
They see this attractive young couple,
Enjoying their good life & fortune,
Thinking, “I want that.”
Because they need to believe in greener grass.
And I smile my fake smile,
Forcing misery down in my gut,
Playing along for the moment
And wishing their assumptions
Were my reality.
Just like, the older I get the more I am convinced that most people aren't worth knowing, and like wild beasts, are safer looked upon from afar. Once in a while though, life surprises us, and I guess that's what keeps hope alive.
This past weekend, for the first time since my son was born, my husband and I escaped the parental trap and went away by ourselves for an all too short vacation in the mountains. We rode the sky lift to the mountain top and I found, much to my delight, that this presented an excellent opportunity to steal a few photos of strangers along the way.
I'm sort-of sneaky about it, not wanting to get caught at my invasion, though when I do it's kind-of a juvenile rush akin to getting caught with a hand in the cookie jar and sometimes, at just the right moment, produces an awesome photograph, like this one.
Children make wonderful strangers because they still belong to that elite minority who have the wonderful capacity to create far more colorful and interesting realities than the rest of us even remember how.
"I do desire we may be better strangers."