Saturday, March 11, 2006

Observing Lives

I got home from work last Wednesday and really needed to unwind. Not that I'd had a bad day, but I just needed to shake it off.

I took a walk around our neighborhood, armed with my mp3 player, and just walked. I didn't have a destination, only the desire to feel the cool air on my face...and before I knew it, the drizzle on my face as well.

I do this sometimes. I like to look at changes made to houses and yards, and see people going about their business. Often, it's like a ghost town and nobody's around. Tonight was fairly active.

We live in a typical St. Louis City neighborhood. Houses are generally bungalos, close together, and made of brick. I could shake our neighbor's hand if we were both at the window washing dishes.

Early evening is my favorite time for these walks, I observe people finishing their days, recharging for the next.

A man and woman standing in the kitchen, a dozen roses sitting on the counter and the woman looking delighted. Anniversary?

A woman is in her living room, tossing her baby in the air, talking baby talk and smiling with joy as she gazes at her child.

Three people clustered on the corner, each with a big dog. They cheerfully say hello and we exchange greetings (they must not be from around here).

And last, but CERTAINLY not least: A family gathered in the kitchen, all talking at once with animated hand gestures...and one of them has a MONKEY ON HIS SHOULDER. That one threw me a little.

I walked along, AFI playing in my ears, smiling a little to myself. I fondly think of all the scenes a walker could have seen when I was a child...

Me and my sister huddled on our parents laps at the kitchen table wathing "Sha-Na-Na" on our 9" TV.

Dad coming home to seek out where we were hiding (probably in the same places we had the night before).

Mom cooking, with two little girls on the floor with mixing bowls (and if we were lucky, there had previously been cake or brownie batter in them).

My grandparents or Godfather over for dinner...like clockwork...always the same occasions each year.

And now, I have my own house, with some of the same things going on...kind of.

The boyfriend and me wrestling, desperately trying to be the first one to plant a tongue on the other's cheek (gross).

Me chasing the cats.

The boyfriend doing yoga or hunched over the computer.

(Hopefully NOT me sitting on the couch in a towel putting on lotion after a shower...although it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility...note to self: always remember to close blinds after showering).

Anyway, I just like seeing other people and their rituals, their lives.

3 Comments:

Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

It's a kind of innocent voyeurism. I have that, too. You're not trying to catch someone in an embarrassing situation, you're just connecting with people going about the universal business of being human.

There's something spiritual about making that connection with anonymous people.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Q? Is that you? Did you change your name on your profile? And did I just blow your cover? :)

That's a good way to describe it...connecting. I certainly don't want to see anything personal or intimate...just "being human" with them.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Theresa said...

You forgot to mention The Dukes of Hazzard and Night Rider on Friday nights. We sat together on the couch, on our separate sides, eating popcorn and drinking pop. Or how about yelling at mom and dad to "Please wind the music box one more time!"
I really enjoyed reading this entry!

4:58 PM  

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