Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two halves not a whole

Every afternoon at Starbucks when I'd wait in line to get some chai in my system, I'd start off with peeking in at the sumptuous pastry section even though I never get one. As the caffeine would kick sluggishness out, I'd take a look around and notice some regular faces and a whole lot of new ones. The regulars are so regular that I feel like I know them personally. Of that group is this one woman with nice curls always lost in her thought, who seems to be a writer, slightly whimsical. Then there's this grandpa who always sits there with a venti green drink topped a generous blob of cream and a book. And this one guy who always sits on the corner table, dressed like he's appearing for an interview, working on his laptop. His face is always half turned towards the wall so I’d only seen half of it. Today he turned to look in my direction when someone behind me dropped something with a thump challenging my assumption completely. I would have never imagined that the side face I'd been seeing everyday was a part of the complete face I saw today. Something didn't quite add up. It was like looking at two wrong pieces of a puzzle put together. Something an irrational artist might have painted on an inspiring day. It was perhaps faultless biologically, just not what I'd extrapolated looking at a piece of it.

If I use that story as a metaphor, life has shocked me time and again by presenting people who appear to be a certain way when our paths cross and an entirely different story when reality hits. Change is a whole different aspect of one's existence and not what I'm talking about. I'm purely hinting at perceptions. We've all seen those ambiguous images in forwarded emails with multiple interpretations that invariably trick us. I guess when people view something with a preconceived notion about it, they tend to take those notions and see them regardless of their existence.

I often tease my cousin that she would at times watch TV so intently from just a foot away that even when someone switched it off, she'd keep looking. It's true but she's in denial.

As for me, Alice in wonderland syndrome? Who knows. I'm going to stop my foolish face reading games for now since I’m clearly not qualified.

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