Rajiv 55 / 400 May 1, 2015 #1There was a routine I had at Barnes and Noble. After spending an hour or more of some intense reading, I'd take a break to come and sit outside on the benches. For me, there was something to learn from simply looking at life moving around, at that time. People going to work, or just otherwise going about their business. There would be maybe, another person or two, like me also sitting there eating their breakfast.I've wondered if I appeared, as people do to me, when I find them staring. I think maybe not, for it wasn't so much at any individual, but as if, just what he or she was doing that I would be looking at. All of it like looking upon a new scenery, so true and real that sometimes it only appeared clothed in an innocuous demeanor, but every individual so alive to what he was doing. It was the coolness of the morning air which also made it pleasant and possible to sit there, nondescript myself, and observe this life.Some of it started to become more familiar. Those people who were regular in things they did. I wondered how I never saw anyone observing me, as I often did the others. There are wanky people everywhere, and I wasn't considered so much as one of those, but perhaps just a bewildered foreigner... There was this one time, a wanky person was passing by. I couldn't tell whether it was a man or woman. They are looking for anything or anyone to latch on to, and aren't so much a menace as a nuisance. But dealing with them requires a certain deftness and equally, some awareness of the local culture. Make a mistake in what you say or how you react, and that person will make a drama right there with you, an awkward and unwilling participant, and everyone around as their audience.As I sat there this time, this person's eyes alighted on me and lit up. He or she only a few feet away. "And what do we have here?" I remember her saying, and a feeling like of a prey when it sees a predator fixing upon itself started to descend upon me. Before my would be tormentor could have me in her clutches, an elderly man whom I had seen pass by before, engaged her briefly in conversation and sent her on her way.I had my wits around to know what had happened. I wondered if my savior knew my astonishment, that I thought him only a helpless old man who shuffled down the street each morning for his newspaper and breakfast, oblivious of me. But he had a positive impression of me somehow. And knew that I would not be able to deal with the situation. So he stepped in and rescued me. Then quickly ducked away somewhere, before I could express gratitude.When I ever I see old men sitting somewhere now, in a park or otherwise. And if it is a place I go to regularly, then though I may never exchange greetings with anyone, I pause at the memory of this incident, and know that though I have never said anything to them, these geezers have a good sense of who exactly I am.