Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Happy Shiny People
Have you ever seen a person- a complete and total stranger- somewhere and just instantly feel a connection to them? Every now and then, I'll see a person that I just notice. I'm a people watcher. Most times, I see people in a hurry, people that are angry, people that are sad... but then I'll see one that causes all other observances to stop. I have no idea who these people are, but I am fascinated by them. If they happen to notice me looking at them, I'm compelled to smile at them. Not a polite smile, but a genuine "NICE TO SEE YOU" smile. I can't help it. Their appearance, the presence that they radiate, call out to me. I wonder who they are and why I'm so struck by the feeling of goodness I see in them. Then - they are gone. They are off to their homes, their families, their children, and I'll never see them again. But I'm always left with a lasting peace that makes me feel like I've experienced something. Cool, huh? I ran into one of those special people today. He was standing in front of the convenience store, and I was at the drive up next door, waiting my turn. As I idly watched traffic move in and out of the parking lot, I focused in on this person and I felt it. That peaceful happiness flowing over me. He was watching the parking lot, the same as I, and had his hands fisted in his pants pocket, while rocking back and forth on his feet. He was dressed plainly in jeans, t-shirt and ball cap, and projected a look of nonchalance that made me envious. I'm always rushing... here, there, everywhere - but this guy was calm and relaxed. He rocked some more and shrugged his shoulders up to his ears. I watched as his shirt rode up and exposed his tummy, which he self-consciously tugged down. I began to wonder who he was, where he was going, who was he waiting for, what was he doing... what was he doing.. what was ... HEY! WHAT WAS HE DOING!? I watched in horrified fascination as the parking lot cleared to his satisfaction. He reached down, put his hand on a suspicious bulge that he had tried to cover with his t-shirt and headed quickly into the store. I've seen those bulges before! I frantically scrabbled for my cell phone and called 911. Breathlessly - I relayed the store location to the operator and watched. He was backing out of the store a scant 2 minutes later when the first cruiser roared up. There was very little drama in their arrest of him, and he had only managed to thief $60 and a carton a cigarettes from the clerk. I was directed to drive around the back of the store by the 911 operator and give the police a description of what I had witnessed, which I did in a mild state of shock.

I don't think I'll trust my peaceful people intuitions anymore.

posted by Norman at 6:41 PM | Permalink |


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