For a long time I've been fascinated by how people interact, some may say that this is unoriginal or that it is pointless but I figured since it has been on my mind for a long time I would start to 'document' my experiences. I have pondered over this for a few years in other forms, mainly by asking annoying questions which involve some of the elements that 'Moments with strangers' uses. Examples of these are when I, in the past, have made comments about how people share their experiences with people that they don't know. If all is private then when on a night out do you not go into a bar if there are few people? If your night out is to be with your friends surely going to an empty establishment will suffice? It is my 'fascination' with our 'need' to be around and share moments with people that we class as strangers that has lead me to creating this blog. Please note that the postings on this blog are of my own experience unless otherwise stated, the dates that I have posted are not the date in which the experience was... experienced.
Using one of the new self-service machines I pay for a drink and a sandwich, rustling through my wallet for my temporary club card I notice a guy using the machine next to me is buying the same sandwich, his T-shirt is blue with a white dragon that I’m sure I’ve noticed in a shop before; staring at his T-shirt he notices me and smiles. I leave the shop and head towards work. I eat as I walk and notice that he is parallel to me, I turn to his direction and we smile using only our brow to acknowledge that we are walking ‘together’. I turn left at the station as does he; we smile again but this time though with the brow the bottom lip is raised adding a hint of awkward emotion to the smile. Continuing we have been together at the same pace for approximately three whole minutes; we turn to each other once more but make no expression. Finally the road splits and I take the right path toward my destination, walking a few paces I turn to his direction, he looks to mine – our connection ends.
After a long shift all I can think about is getting home to check my messages. With money in hand I make my way to the bus station where I try to figure out which bus would take me home quickest. Casually wandering and looking to the road ahead in search of buses my body somehow rejects the idea of physical gripping and releases coins from my hand as I walk. There aren’t many people at the station as it is nearing midnight though with the sound of metal on the floor, most people turn in my direction. Frantically thinking that a bus will come this second I rush to pick up the dropped coins to find that a man is following my movements with his eyes. The last coin, a ten pence piece, rolls away from me in a circular motion toward a rather large old lady wearing a floral dress and leather jacket; the coin rolls between her legs. I look to her and force a smile though it is through gritted teeth knowing that if I didn’t need that ten pence to make £1.60, I might have left it and pretended I hadn’t seen it rolling. The woman’s face smiles with only her bottom lip causing her cheeks to bunch toward her mouth. I gingerly make toward the coin and retrieve it knowing that I am being watched. Wanting to get away from the situation I look again toward the road and see the yellow lights of a bus. I realise that it leaves from stand 8 which is coincidentally the stand I am stood at. I turn to the man that had watched me; we raise our eyebrows to signify that what had happened was awkward. I get on the bus as does the lady; she sits in front of me. The bus pulls away and I look to the man showing my bottom teeth and a look of panic across my face; he laughs as the bus pulls away from him.
It's a hot day and there are a lot of people travelling to the city centre, probably to window-shop or to eat their lunches at the high-rise park. Sat at the back of the bus I have my music and book to keep me company whilst waiting for my journey to end. The bus is popular and there are many people standing. We come to a favoured stop where the majority of people vacate; there is a lot of noise as people leave. Delaying for a few moments we are stationary, I do not mind as I have my music and the book to entertain me. A girl, no more than 15 wearing fly eye-like sunglasses looks panicked; frantically looking out of the windows and checking to see what the remaining few passengers seem to be doing. The vehicle appears to be stationed for a purpose other than that traffic is busy and so the girl, still panicking decides to depart. Two boys in shorts are adjacent to me and look at each other in fear that this is the last stop and that the bus has stalled awaiting the final passengers to leave. After seconds of deliberation the boys run from the bus onto the street thinking that they have made the correct choice. A man and I on the same row turn to each other and smile in the knowledge that we know, the bus will carry on.
I'm on a bus which is half full, the sun is shining and a family with buggy stroll past the bus stop we're stationed at. A small blonde haired boy runs ahead of his father and trips on the pavement. He is no taller than 2ft but falls at a fast pace hitting his chin on the floor. Watching, I bare my bottom teeth and suck the air in creating a sound signifying pain. The boy picks himself up unharmed and his father checks to make sure he is alright. I turn to the woman sitting opposite me; we both have the same expression: smiled eyes with a hint of embarrassment behind the mouth. The father turns to the bus and notices our expressions. He gives a manly laugh that translates into "that's my boy"; then pulls away.