informed eye

there was a lady in the train this afternoon. she wore a white tunic, slacks and a pair of responsible shoes. on her shoulder was a handbag and in her hand was a dark blue rosary. she had a tranquil look on her face, a little smirk on her lips, but in her mind was the Lord as she prayed her devotion to Him.

i found joy, no, pleasure in realising what she was doing. to an uninformed eye, she was an ordinary middle-aged woman on her way home, who just happened to be clutching a bracelet of imitation glass beads. her expression could have been interpreted as apathy. but the silent movement of her fingers pushing one bead to the next turned her into a devotee who chose to spend her commute communicating with God.

it felt like the time i caught a sales assistant mouthing the words to my favourite take that song, or when i realised that the young mother sitting next to me was stuffing her baby’s face with biscuits in a desperate attempt to keep him quiet throughout the 30-minute train ride. whenever i see someone doing something they were trying not to let others see…it makes me feel like we had connected on some level, that they now mean something to me, even if they don’t know that i had noticed what they were up to.

i’m a little disturbed that i enjoy catching a glimpse into someone else’s humanity, their sort-of secrets. perhaps this is how lonely people attempt to connect with others.

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