Things are a bit rushed this morning; I’m on my way to the city once again. Since it pays to be early to ensure a spot on the ferry, I have a bit of time to sit and wait, for such is the nature of life on an island. It gives me an opportunity to indulge in another thing I love, people watching.
I love people watching. I love the sheer variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that we humans come in. I will now describe a few I can see from here so you can share the experience with me.
There are several small groups of men standing around, smoking or with hands in pockets, shoulders slouched, drinking coffee from Styrofoam cups and complaining about life in general. Grey cloudy mornings can do that to you.
There stands an older man, quite bald, absentmindedly smoothing his comb-over down in the breeze. His younger companion has a small goatee and shaven head. Go figure. That has to be a generational thing.
Here comes an interesting fellow. He’s a big man, heavy, wearing loose clothing. His clothes are worn, but clean, his boots run down and old. He wears his graying hair cut short, mostly hidden beneath a cap with some sort of logo. His face has seen many years in the sun, deep lines surround his eyes and line his face.
It would be easy to dismiss this man as an old fat guy who was down on his luck. Let’s take a second look, for I have an idea his appearance is deceptive. Yes he has some fat on him, but that could just be a side effect of good living. His back is too straight, his shoulders too wide, his hands look like the could crush stone, and there is an easy grace to his stride.
I smile as he walks past the car. With a wink and a nod he returns the smile and now I can see where all those lines in his face came from. That is a face that has smiled a lot over the years.
He’s gone past now, but there comes an old truck, a working man’s truck, but that’s not who is driving. The door opens and a young woman steps out. She is well dressed, in heels, tall, slim, blonde, and beautiful. All eyes are on her as she alights. She smiles and calls a greeting to one of the men, who waves and smiles back.
All the men are standing taller now, their backs straighter, tummies pulled in, cigarettes cast aside, and their scowls gone. She stops to chat with different groups as she makes her way to the coffee shop, and again on her way back. She has a smile and a good word for everybody she meets on her way back.
By the time she reaches the truck everyone is smiling. Conversations have gone from complaints to idle chat about more pleasant subjects. I’m not sure if she is aware of the effect she had on everybody, but I do hope she is. I’d like to think this woman used her youth and beauty to brighten the day for everyone she encountered.
For that is exactly what she has done. Through her a goddess came and lifted the gloom from the hearts of all the people scattered about this parking lot. Because of her a number of people, men and women alike, are facing the day with a much brighter outlook.
Whoops, there comes the ferry boat. Thanks for people watching with me folks, it is one of my most favorite things to do.