I sat near the couple with the matching barrettes the other day. The fact that I had written something about them made me nervous.
There are people I see every day. We travel in parallel tracts and don't acknowledge one another. Recording an observation made me feel more intimate with them somehow. Silly, because it's all happening in me. The observation. Even the recording. It is out of me since it is written but it hasn't changed the relationship. And yet it feels like it has. Something feels different. It's like when I made a public acknowledgement that I was aware of them I took on a responsibility. I'm not sure what I mean.
There are moments when the ignoring is breached. One morning it was raining and a man said, "Oh! You're getting all wet." He moved to my side and covered me with his umbrella. It was an act of kindness that cheered everyone who heard the story. He and I have chatted since then. He takes an earlier train to the same shuttle I take. He works at a building next to mine. We take the same bus, a different train, the same shuttle. That kind of thing always makes me wonder. It just seems like something to notice. There isn't really anything to make of it all. But noticing matters.
I'm not sure what I mean.