Some people are landscapes, and I catch myself staring at them so that I can take them in; their vistas, outlines and curves and bends. Each and every one of their distinguishing (and distinguished, depending, frankly, on the face) features.
It’s something I’ve done since as long as I can remember.
(And I remember getting into more than one schoolyard fight for “staring hard” at other kids and, once, as a first grader, getting into it deep a sixth grader whose prominent brow, delicate nose and permanently puckered mouth was like staring into the very depths of a suddenly de-randomized, nearly cogent universe…I feel like I was very close to something then, even if that something ended up chasing me back to the little kids’ side of the schoolyard, fists like cinder blocks raised in semi-righteous anger, puckered mouth ruining itself like a torn suture as they raged on at me).
It’s true, though: sometimes they catch me, the people do, staring at them. Taking them in. My options then are very limited. 1) Ignore and break away, or 2) Keep right on staring. Very little needs to be said in the moment.
Look. It’s not personal. You just have an interesting smile, a striking pose, an odd jawline, great limbs, a kind expression (or a monstrous one).
These are not compliments or criticisms or facts.
Just me, taking in the lay of the land and then moving on so we can both get on with the rest of our lives.
Now doesn’t that sound nice – isn’t that OK – if not totally one hundred percent reasonable?