Thursday, January 17, 2013

I read a book on the bus today...

How do we read other people? And how do we allow (or not allow) others to read us? I was walking on Central Campus making my way to the bus and I passed by three people that I knew briefly from classes, film collaborations, or play collaborations. Each of them ignored me. I saw them. I read them. I read their words very carefully. Their words read: "I see you. I recognize you. I look away. I pretend that I did not see you. I keep walking." It didn't hurt my feelings or anything. I have been in those situations before too, where you feel like you don't know someone well enough to recognize them and say hi to them independently of where you had previously been acquainted. But even though they were trying to be unreadable, they were still being read, just in different words.
Once I got to the bus, a perfect stranger got on and sat a little ways away from me. He had his headphones in and limited his eye contact to that of his iphone. But something different occurred with this stranger...about halfway through the ride I thought I caught a glimpse of him looking at me. I attempted to be unreadable and turn my face in his direction to see if he was looking at me, but without me actually looking at him. Sneaky peripheral usage. He was being sneaky too. Whenever I would actually look at him he would look away, or pretend it wasn't me he was looking at. It finally got to my stop and I decided to open up my book and let him read it. I stood up from my seat, grabbed my bag, turned and smiled at him. As I stepped off the bus and onto the sidewalk I look back inside the bus at where he was sitting and he was looking right at me smiling as well.
No moral to the story, as there doesn't need to be. But simply the act of reading, being read, attempting not to be read, being read even when trying not to be read, or letting someone read you, can make for a fun trip home.

Teagan Rose

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