One of my favorite aspects of living in a city is the number of people you come to recognize on a daily basis.
Sure, we may not know each other, but hey! Don’t you ride my bus? Don’t we walk past each other, ride the same elevator?
I’m not saying we need to exchange holiday cards or bum cigarettes from each other, but I think it warrants a nod, don’t you?
I think a nod just says so much. “Hello there! I see you, and acknowledge your place in the world.”
I enjoy the cordial impersonality of the city.
But a little personality isn’t bad, either.
I was on the bus the other day when I recognized the head of the woman in front of me. (It’s one of my many talents, the ability to recognize the backs of heads, along with recognizing people by their gait and being able to open doors with my feet. But that’s probably best left for another post.)
Where was I?
Oh, yes. I was in the midst of recognizing the head of the woman in front of me on the bus.
It was my Aunt Joanne.
I leaned forward and tugged a bit of hair at the back of her neck. She swatted my hand away without turning around.
So I did it again.
She turned around somewhat indignantly, ready to give the freak bothering her the what-for.
“Hey, what do you think – why, Miss Pearl!”
She beamed at me. “I thought you were some sort of freak,” she exclaimed.
“There are people who would say you aren’t far off the mark,” I laughed.
We chatted for the 10 or so blocks before her stop, whereupon she de-bussed, as we say on the commuter-circuit, and I continued on.
Every day we run into people with varying relationships to ourselves, some of whom we know and some of whom we don’t.
When you run across my Aunt Joanne – and some day, you just might – nod at her for me, will ya?
Because I’m going to nod at yours.
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