Sidewalk Strangers Seen Through the Glass Wall of a Restaurant

  • A tall white man and a slender, dusky, petite Filipina beauty together. I wonder what it’s like for each of them. An adventure, a taste of the exotic? A tropical dalliance? Need, perhaps? Dreams of a better life? It could be any of these, but the romantic in me wonders: could it possibly, conceivably be love?
  • Two laughing young girls with long hair and eyes yet untouched by self-consciousness. They walk hand-in-hand, linked by the secrets they share and the youthful, irrepressible assurance that they will be “friends forever”. The sight of them evokes such nostalgia. How I wish I could freeze time for a while and let them stay in their world a bit longer. The years pass swiftly, however, and young girls inevitably grow up. But for now, right now, they are here, and they are magical.
  • A woman and a boy, mother and son perhaps, on an errand that worries them both. She leans on him with her hand on his shoulder, and both of them look tired. The midday heat has drawn beads of perspiration from their foreheads, but they plod on, unwilling or unable to pay for a ride. Where are they going and what do they need? Only a few centimeters of glass separate us, but I might as well be miles away, for I do not step out and ask them. I wonder – are the invisible, protective barriers we create between ourselves and others worth the alienation from our own kind?
  • A stunning young woman strolling by herself. Perfect hair, perfect complexion, perfect clothes. How many people take the time to look deeper and see if her life is as flawless as it seems? Too often the envy in us blinds us to the person behind the image, the need behind the confidence. I have no doubt that she will meet many people today who will either furtively or openly scrutinize her looks. Will she find one person, I wonder, who will simply look into her eyes and offer a smile?

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