This morning I was chatting to Danger Coolidge on our morning walk. I started telling him about an idea that I had for a short story (as an aside, this isn’t the kind of thing we normally do. I don’t want to paint the picture that we stroll about discussing art and literature). Anyway, it came up in conversation and I remembered a little note that I’d taken down in my phone.
I started explaining the set up: “You know how when you’re on a train or a bus and you read over people’s shoulder?”
Straight away he stopped me. Nope, I never do that. Hmmm, I thought everyone did that? I argued for the cause. Sure, everyone does that. I mean, you can’t help but catch a newspaper headline or check out a story in a gossip mag. I wasn’t proud when I admitted that I try to read people’s texts. No?
So it dawned on me. I like checking out what other humans are up to. Just casual observation stuff. I like glimpses inside house windows, I like to see what’s in a bag when it’s opened up. I like checking out what people are reading on the train or bus. Everywhere we go, everything we do, we reveal facets of our personality. Sometimes people are watching.
I am an unemployed anthropologist.