Everybody people watches, in one way or another. Once upon a time a friend and I would sit on a bench at the beach with our morning coffee and watch people passing by. We sat drinking our coffee and as each group neared we concocted outlandish stories based on the impressions of what we saw. It wasn’t mean-spirited in any way. It was more an expansion of what we might think if we had simply walked by them on the street.
I don’t make up stories anymore, well not really, but now I want to know the story. I want to know the 5 W’s of their daily lives. It’s more because I’m curious and just a tad nosy. Now as I sit passively, keenly taking note of details, I wonder. It’s what I do out of habit more than entertainment.
Yesterday an Asian man sat across from me wearing a mustard coloured jacket and heavy boots. Both seemed like were far too big for him. He’s doing that obnoxious man spreading thing and beside him sits a giant bag (doubly bad). He would be what someone would call nondescript perhaps; a little mussed with a receding hairline and thick glasses. He held his hands in a strange manner and it immediately piqued my curiosity. Then he pushed the glassed up his nose and I caught a flash of colour on his thumbs. A little while later he checked his watch and I saw all his nails were painted a deep blood red. Then as he had before he tucked his fingers into a fist, tucking in his thumbs into his hands, hiding his nails and he became just another person riding the train. And there was me on the other side of the aisle, still wanting to know why. A phrase popped into my head “what’s your story morning glory?”.