i am a people watcher. not in a creepy way that makes someone feel uncomfortable, moreso an observatory way that is not intrusive. i especially enjoy couples. the subtle intimacy of two people who share a romantic interest makes me smile.
today while i was eating lunch, i saw one such couple. i noticed them when they walked in. they had an aura of positive energy. they passed my table when they were being seated. i liked how the man placed his hand (ever so lightly) on the small of the woman’s back to guide her toward the table, pulling her chair out as though it were second nature. their lunch was a series of these familiar exchanges and i found myself drawn to the comfort of their interaction. i think it was the implied history that intruiged me. knowing that they’d grown accustom to the rythm of one another’s speech– the space between words, inevitable pauses, the punctuation of a smile. He silently predicting that she would order the same thing, just like she always did every time they came to this restaurant, even though she always said she would try something new. She anticipating the exact moment when he would systematically clean each utensil with the extra napkin that she knew he would ask the waitress for. things they could only know because they knew each other.
these moments in life are my secret pleasures. the daddy who lovingly brushes a stray hair from his baby girl’s cheek. two friends giggling as a look that only they can interperet passes between them. in this cold world of strangers, i search for glimpses of humanity. the couple in the restaurant did not speak english, but love needs no interpreter. with the constant barrage of negativity it is easy to forget how much good still exists, it’s what keeps me grounded. no matter what storms rage externally, to quote india arie, “ain’t nothin in the whole wide world like the peace that i have found, in the little things, and the joy they bring.”
peace and love to you all — gary bartz.