Our apartment is on the top floor. We have a window that overlooks the front of the building; the main entrance so to speak. There are additional entrances on the sides that you may enter as well. But for the most part, many come through the main entrance. Even John and I use it more often than not.
I’ve made a habit of looking out the window every now and then. Our window also faces a lush hillside that is the home to turkey, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, and hawks. I didn’t know the enchanted forest was just outside my window in Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, I look on.
I’ve noticed a few interesting things about people.
First and foremost, they have no idea that I’m watching them… or that they’re watched at all.
Second, people are very interesting without even realizing it.
For example, there are three elderly gentleman that routinely meet out front for a smoke.
I don’t know what they talk about because their meetings are so frequent. But I often ponder what it is they’re discussing. Every now and then, if the wind is right, the building echoes off a few words from their chatter. It’s not enough to really decipher what it is they’re saying but I hope to get lucky some day.
Sometimes, I’ll hear people before I see them. A gentleman was once talking on his phone, but I could only hear his conversation. Again, not in perfect clarity, but enough to know that it was a gentleman… and he was on the move. After quickly scanning the view from my window, I found him walking in the parking lot on his cell. I don’t know where he was going since he rounded the building still babbling away. Wherever he parked, it was not in the front.
A woman exits her car with her high heels on. She, too, is on her cell. She’s moving at a faster pace than the gentleman was. Her scarf is blowing in the wind as she hustles towards the front door.
The funniest part of watching people is watching how they park.
Some people can just never get it right.
From up above, they look like little hot wheels that are trying to maneuver oh so slowly into a spot that is clearly easy from above.
I watch them inch their way forwards and backwards hoping and wishing they won’t hit the car that is around them.
There are very few expert parallel parkers out there.
I, for one, can definitely parallel park. That was something that I practiced on end while I was getting my license. I wanted to be able to do it so that I would always have the best parking spaces. People HATE to parallel park. Even if the spot is RIGHT IN FRONT, they’ll drive around to find a spot the can just pull into instead.
So, I figured, if I knew how to parallel park, I could get that spot! See! My secret is now out.
But between watching the smokers, the talkers, and the parkers, I noticed that I’m watching them.
Not in a voyeuristic type of way but just as a general people watcher. Instead, it’s only one sided. I’m pretty sure they can’t see me up in my window because, for one, they never think to look up and check the windows.
I’m sure all of you who read this will now start looking up when passing tall buildings.
But I get to see into their world for a brief moment, even if it doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know what those men are talking about while they smoke, and I don’t know what anyone is saying on their cell. I don’t know why one person is in heels and the other is in casual clothes.
I know none of those answers, but yet, I’m looking into their life.
I’m sure you’re all thinking this is quite a lot to get from peering out a window. But the next time you are in a corner of a restaurant, or in a park, take notice of those around you. Take notice of those who are noticing you. Watch them for a moment and tell me that you don’t feel like you’re witnessing their life in a different way.
We all see people every day. We see them in their cars, we see them at the gym. But do we really ever SEE them?
Perhaps now, maybe you will.