People watching on a Sunday

I went to church today. (To an enormous cathedral to be exact.)

I sat next to a man, and who I presumed to be his girlfriend. He seemed preoccupied. Down. He had his hands between his legs. His forearms resting on his thighs like an enormous weight was on him and this was all he could do to keep from falling over.

She wrapped her arm in his, putting her hand on his thigh. He didn’t budge. He didn’t acknowledge her at all. She caressed him. Trying. She was trying to make him feel better or something.

Maybe I misread it.

They both had on some uptown shoes. You know, those shoes you see in Anthropologie. Hers were black suede with round laces. Heels, but with holes in the side so you saw just enough of her feet to make a man’s heart beat if we were in 1934. His were an odd color. They looked like every men’s shoe I have ever seen at Urban Outfitters. If gold had a creme-colored cousin, that would be the color of his shoes. They had round laces too.

We stopped to shake hands and give peace. His eyes were empty. We sat down.

He started tracing out letters on his thigh with his finger. She responded back in the same fashion. I was fascinated but didn’t want to be more obvious. She seemed happy.

At the gym I looked out the second story window and saw a man. Tall with greyish hair, silver really. He wore a pin-stripped shirt, tucked in. It was some sort of melancholy blue color. Not what you imagine when you think blue.

He was waiting it seemed. A black man with a leather kangol hat was around, but not really next to him. He came from the side of the building and walked along the sidewalk. They signaled to each other. There was something happening beyond the sidewalk I could see. The man in the kangol hat went to investigate.

The tall man stood next to a trash can that appeared to be leaning against a large pillar. He was smoking. Everything outside the lobby is chrome. If you glance out the window it looks like even the leaves get greyer out of jealousy. Chrome is so shiny and generally pleasant to look at. But cold.

A red car pulled up. I didn’t see at first. All I saw was a slender looking woman with swift black hair hanging out of the driver side pointing a camera. At first I thought she was taking a picture of him.

Maybe she hasn’t seen this man in forever and he is the love of her life. He held his arms wide open as if to say come to me.

But then he crouches down and I see a little blonde boy in a green jumper walking awkwardly as fast as he can. I felt like I could hear his noise. Children that age have the ability to giggle and shriek at the same time. Even though I was three floors up, I knew that sound could pierce through steel.

The tall man picks him up and kisses him twice and then again but for longer. They are so happy they’ve forgotten the woman and the camera.

Without missing a beat she closes the door and drives off. He puts the child in the back seat of his silver car and the man in the hat gets in the passengers seat. They sit for a moment, then start the car and make a right turn like the woman did.

It was like watching 3/4 of the season finale to a show you have never seen. I miss the city.


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