Sunday, November 11, 2007

Right Now

I am in my office on my day off because I needed to get a few things done. All the lights are off in the building because I am the only one here so it is not noticeable that anyone is in. Our building is a single story with a reasonably sized parking lot just outside my window and a healthy speckling of mature trees all over the grounds.

Right Now, as I type, there is a scrawny slip of a teenage boy in our parking lot. He has black hair that is cropped close on the sides and back and little longer on top. He's wearing a dark hoodie and skinny indie-boy blue jeans and had been standing just outside my window on his cell phone for 10 minutes now. The parking lot is covered in acorns and he is stepping on them and doing this sort of goofy unconcious dance as he squooshes acorns under his chunky sneakers. He swivels his hips as he twists to pop another acorn and then hops a bit to the next large gathering of them on the ground. It looks like someone doing the Twist in slow motion who has never actually seen the Twist and is reading instructions from a book.

Now he's hung up the phone... but the acorns, they call to him. They make a really satisfying crackle under your feet. I've noticed this whenever I walk to my car across the lot. And there are SO MANY of them left. I don't know if he is waiting for someone of if he is passing time by parking in our lot because he is in a fight with a parents or meeting a girlfriend nearby after a bit, but right now he is still doing this wonky dance right outside my window. Clearly, he has no idea he is being watched.

It's such a strange sensation to watch someone when they think they are alone. They will do things and move in an unselfconcious way that you almost never get to see otherwise. This pale little scene-boy probably affects a certain personality in front of his peers, in front of his parents, in front of other people. But right now he is not a cool 17 year old. Right now he is a kid popping acorns in front of my window with a simple, childlike joy.

Hop-twist, hop hop, twist and shift. A little content smile on his face while he concentrates on the acorns and their cheerful little pops.


  1. Ah, how perfect! Lovely post.

  2. I once read a quote that you just reminded me of...

    "Character is what you do when you think no one is looking."

  3. hmmm...that makes me wonder how people perceive me when they see me by myself, which i am quite frequently. i get approached in art museums a lot here in paris for some unknown reason, which makes me even more self-conscious. :-/ i wonder if i come off really strange or something.

  4. I think there's often something beautiful and interesting about a person when they think they are alone... I am fascinated with the way so many people alter and relax and seem more fluid when they think no one is watching - when they are completely the them that they are with themselves.