Day two of my blogging marathon, and it’s also day two of suggestions from Maria. Today’s subject is ‘the people that you see on the street every day’.
This is actually a subject I sort of covered before in one of my earliest blog posts, though it wasn’t in any great detail (well, it wouldn’t be, not with me being the Queen of Short Posts). It’s actually a perfect subject for me to ramble about because I’m generally a people watcher anyway.
I’m not usually very good at mixing with people. You may find that hard to believe because I’m pretty open with everyone online, and I interact with anyone and everyone in cyberspace. But in the real world, I’m usually the quiet one. Once I’ve met you a few times, my Inner Nutcase/Chatterbox comes alive and it’s difficult to shut me up, but with complete strangers I’m a bit of a Church Mouse. Because of this I tend to observe people. I quietly take in a few surface details, and I keep my ears open. Basically, I’m storing information for future reference. It could be that I might see or hear something that I don’t like, and this will give me a heads up and it tells me that I need to perhaps be a bit wary around that person.
Yes, it’s slightly creepy, and definitely a little bit paranoid, but I do it with good intentions, I swear.
Anyway, this habit of observing potential friends tends to spill over into observing pretty much everyone. Like the guy who is always on the bus stop at 5am during the week. This man catches the same bus as me, and I see him every Wednesday and Thursday morning. We do little more than exchange a ‘good morning’ and a ‘terrible weather, today, isn’t it?’, but my overactive imagination has given him a name, some children and grandchildren, an occupation, and a brief life story.
Then there is the lady who plays the accordion outside of Tesco day in, day out. Come rain or shine, she is always there, strumming away at her instrument and hoping for a few coins to fill her hat. I imagine her to be of Eastern European background for some reason. Perhaps it is the flowing skirts that she usually wears, or it may be that the music itself, which sounds like something you would have heard in the ghettos of 1940’s war-torn Europe.
Another person that I see a lot is a lady who obviously has some mental health problems. She’s obviously capable of looking after herself because she is usually well turned out, and is normally on her own. I used to work in a curtain and fabric shop, and she would come in most days just to look around and stroke the cushions. She also frequents the shop where I work now, and again she does little more than browse around, though sometimes she’ll buy a bar of chocolate. She never speaks, carries a huge bag with her filled with heaven knows what, and usually pays with small change (I’ve noticed that she doesn’t carry a wallet, just a small child’s purse).
I see lots of different people every day, but these three people stick in my mind for some reason. What are their stories? What are their hopes, their dreams? It can be fun – though sobering at times – trying to work them out for yourself. The man from the bus stop probably wants nothing more than to retire from his job and spend time with his family. The woman with the accordion maybe dreams of a day when she can play to a wider audience.
And the woman with the overly large bag and the child’s purse? Maybe she wishes she could go out and buy everything that she touches. Or perhaps she just wants to spend her day talking to someone, or dreams of having someone to share her window shopping adventures.
Who knows? What I do know is every single person on this planet has a dream, and it doesn’t matter if it is as basic as making a friend, or as ambitious as publishing a novel. It is still a dream – it is what drives us forward and keeps us going.