Do you ever think about the stories passing by us? The millions of lives just as intricate as our own, with a cast of characters as lively, with problems as challenging, with passerby’s just like us.
How many family photo albums have I mindlessly been apart of; which family photos in Disney have I been a background character?
Today on the bus, I listened and looked around, people watching as I tend to do. The boys in front of me were giggling like children at some hilarious YouTube video that I couldn’t see. The men behind me chatted like old friends even though I was fairly certain they’d just met each other. Younger kids danced around the narrow walkway, excited to see the famous UNC basketball players.
I think a lot about these side characters who will likely only appear in a few short scenes of my life. The ‘extras’ who pick up the sheets of paper I drop walking to class, who give me change when I can’t dig through my wallet fast enough, who share their stories at marches.
Everyone around us leads their own life, but we hardly stop and think of the complexities in someone else’s mind. That could possibly be our greatest flaw.
Humans tend to be selfish, think of Adam and Eve; they had everything they could ever want or need and yet still requested more. We get way too caught up in ourselves, in our own worlds, we hardly ever think of the intricacies of another’s life.
The boy I met on the bus ride home—he laughed when I suggested he looked like Timothée Chalamet. He gets that a lot; his last girl friend forced him to watch Call Me By Your Name twice until he agreed. He fell asleep during Lady Bird, much to her dismay. She never felt like he really loved her. She always felt like she was fighting for his attention. He was far too busy smoking with his friends, he never really cared for her anyways. He’d been seeing a few girls on the side—it didn’t mean anything to him. He was just a feelings-junky, one girl after the other.
His dad had left when he was younger, he figured that had to do with the general feeling of numbness he felt on the daily basis. Maybe if his father hadn’t cheated on his mom so many times, he’d never even know what cheating was. Maybe he’d never had cheated himself.
I can’t confirm any of that. In fact, I can almost guarantee none of it is accurate. But my brain wanders and wonders about the characters around me.
Strangers are better than best friends who turn to strangers.