I love watching people.
In watching them I become them. I become the quiet light-haired girl sitting across from me in this cafe. Ironically enough she is solving math equations on an 11 inch netbook that she rented from the campus library. Her notebooks are piled up next to her, they each have a manga character etched onto the cardboard back. These are also my notebooks because within moments I will become her. I will anticipate the following math equation with great zeal and claim possession of those manga drawings.
I am the amputee sitting next to me speaking with her German friend in a slavic tongue. She eats her early dinner and texts on her phone all while her friend becomes increasingly nervous about an upcoming assignment or someone potentially stealing his coffee off the table. I am slowly becoming her as I stare at this screen and wonder what it would be like to never feel keys beneath my finger tips. She looks happy, happier than most.
I transform into all three girls to my left. They each have pocket books that are jewel encrusted or sequenced. All they can think about is the work they don’t want to do but have to do and how lovely their bags look in contrast to the ugly gray jersey sky line this evening. They have caught me staring and becoming and if looks could kill I would die instantaneously.
I am slipping into the bodies of over-achieving grad students, sipping coffee and utilizing excel. Everything seems in tact for them. They have coffee mugs and satchels filled with mircron pens. They’re all much older than I..possibly married but not to a person just their work and excel spreadsheets. I would love to be in a holy union with perfectly ink filled pens and microsoft software…things would make a lot more sense.
I like when things don’t make too much sense. It’s when people stumble on their own words and swear by publications like the New Yorker that bring me joy. Not because this person has pronounced macabre oddly or they hide behind the words of others, it’s because I see myself in them. I too quote the Times and pronounce radiator in a terrible thick New York accent.