Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday sightings

Today I saw a woman struggling to walk. The excess lard from her thighs appeared to have descended and collected around her ankles. The tightness of her black dress testified to what must have been a morning workout for her. As she boarded the bus, her face, full of sigh, looked beseechingly around. I gave her my seat.

Today I saw a girl, hair in pigtails and rings hanging from her nostrils. She was reading "Remembrance of things past".

Today I saw an old woman, old as a redwood, singing a song in the metro corridor. Her voiced crackled and sputtered, nearly masking the melody completely. As she stood there swaying with her eyes closed, strangers placed coins in an old hat placed before her on the ground.

Today I saw a woman chastising her child in the stroller. As the child's voice rose, so did the brusqueness with which she pushed on the stroller. In the end, fear took over the child, and he fell silent.

Today I saw a woman in her car putting on makeup with one hand and holding a cellphone to her ear with the other. She was steering the car with her knee.

Today I saw a woman, statuesque in the park. Standing on one foot and with her hands clasped together, she stood immobile for two minutes. I know, because I timed it.

Today I saw a woman crying. It felt like the whole world was crying. I don't even know why she was sobbing so, yet I was still moved to tears. Pain is universal.

20 comments:

nongirlfriend said...

Pain IS universal.


I love these snippets of yours!

JoeL said...

Except for the makeup artist, to me they were all crying.

What a grey day.

I guess everybody is hurting.

Ed said...

I don't know why, but I can sit and watch a woman cry and feel nothing. But let me see a man cry and I can't keep my own eyes from leaking. I think it is because women cry so easily and often and men seldom cry unless there is a very good reason to do it.

Lemuel said...

Excellent post. I love your observations and the juxtaposition of them.

On the side: Had I observed the woman driving with her knees, I would not be free to write this comment. I would either be incarcerated for murder or institutionalized for freaking out at her. I saw a similar thing a few years ago while driving on the turnpike. The woman was passing me and I was going 85! (Shh! Don't tell a trooper!)

Timmy said...

wow!

Snooze said...

I would love to have seen the woman who stood still in the park. I love watching the elderly people doing tai chi in the one near me.

Chunks said...

The old redwood lady singing would have made me weep, I have a weakness for the elderly. Especially when they sing. Lovely post, as usual.

Spider said...

Your posts always amaze me...

Jason said...

I'm with snooze... I love seeing a group of about 8 elderly asian ladies doing their tai chi every morning in the park. It for some reason, cheers me up.

Timmy said...

I like to drink chai tea!

Steven said...

Uh, the woman in the car was me, Torn.

And, it wasn't that much makeup; just some mascara and lipgloss.

Em said...

God.

Anonymous said...

Although I find the whole makeup and cellphone thing extrememly annoying, I do believe that people who live their lives in such rushing and craziness are desperately trying to escape their own pain as well. They do it by constant frantic distraction, and that, to me, is also sad. Great post. Devo

Doug said...

Thanks, Torn, for the profoundly introspective observations.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

All I've seen today is my sweet-ass sweet 19" widescreen monitor.

GayProf said...

There is something painful about seeing somebody crying – especially in public. You know if they have reached that point their pain has outweighed their concern about putting on a public face.

dawn said...

It seems like sometimes the things you see and the things that really resonate depend on what frame of mind you are in. Have you ever noticed that?

Great snippets.

The Persian said...

I admit it I'm a sap, I can't stand to see people cry. It really bothers me.

Very powerful post.

:)

Donna said...

i am glad to hear that people are still reading "le recharche du temps perdu" (did i get that right, the meaning is slightly different in french). it took me 3 years to read all the volumes but that's because i was savoring it! what a great read, you should give volume one a try now that you read french....i heard some stuff gets "re-interpretated" in english.

Patricia said...

i love reading your perceptions and getting the glimpses into your world. it builds up my already strong blog-crush i have on you.