People are just People

Lately, I’ve come away from some simple encounters with others wondering how their lives go on from where we parted. I’m so stuck inside my own head these days, which I guess isn’t really a bad thing, but it might be making me oblivious to whatever else might be hanging around or weaving in and out of my life.

Like on Thursday, after the Chamber mixer, there was a girl cleaning up. We exchanged a few words and I went on my way. I had to drop off some donations at a charity location on my way back to the office and then home. As I was driving, I wondered what that employee’s life was like. Did she go home to someone? Her parents’ house? Was she in school, or was she going to be working in one place for a long time? Or maybe she was going to keep trying different things until finding the right fit. Would she ever find it? Does she like the same TV shows as I do? Does she read, or write in a journal, or paint or build things or fix cars or fly kites or garden?

And yesterday with the bank teller, and today with the librarian and the checkout girl at Safeway, my thoughts went the same way. Drifted into a speculation of their afternoons, evenings, weekends, weeks, months, years. And when I’m alone, I go drifting out to friends, to family, wondering how things are really going. What the day-to-day is really all about. I look for open windows with a light on inside when I walk through the neighborhood.

My own days are fairly mundane, so I’m sure they resemble other peoples’ days closely enough. I get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, have dinner, surf the Internet, maybe read, write, blog or draw, and then bed. Some days there’s laundry or dishes. Weekends are a little harder to pin down. I try to accomplish whatever I didn’t during the week, and I often fail. But sometimes I don’t.

I guess I’m feeling a little bit like a tree falling in the middle of a forest today. James is working, and I have no idea what the minutiae of his workdays are really like, though I get the gist. I talk to people on the phone and then hang up and wonder if they had leftovers for lunch or burn a grilled cheese because they got sucked into a movie they’ve already seen. I know that we think of each other often, but I also know that sometimes people disappear from my mind unintentionally. I’m not really disappearing, I know, but I occasionally wonder where I am.


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