I’m one of those people who just cannot do crowds. Too much going on at once just puts everything in overdrive for me and causes my patience to wear away immediately. Those issues, coupled with my propensity for being anti-social, usually causes me to become a headphone music blasting, hyper-anxious loony with darting eyes in public. Now, at some point the windows of my soul do happen to rest on something and take notice. Lately though, I’ve been paying attention to what those somethings are.
The two things I linger on in these bustling public settings are youth and lovers. I notice these things separately and distinctly, meaning that two teenage kids, slobbing each other down is not what I’m getting at. What I am getting at is well, I’m getting older, and the polish on hand painted toes, matching outfits, creative hairstyles, blushing over boys, fits of giggles and gossip are constant reminders of my tender years. Years full of learning and expectation, peppered by good old teenage ambivalence. Years that I will never get back; but you know what? I’m okay with that. Recognizing little pieces of me in these kids is just a sign of how much I’ve grown and matured over time. I’m comfortable with whom I’ve grown up to be that is, until my gaze falls upon, the lovers.
If anything snaps me out of my mad dash to do anything I need to get done, it’s those couples. Not the couples who are hugged up humping and should probably get a room. Actually, it may not even be the couples at all. It’s the moments. Whispering to one another closely, intently, as if they are the only ones present. He tucks the tag back into her blouse, arranges her twisted necklace perfectly, gently, while on the mall escalator, and guides her by the waist in the direction of which they are to go. He reaches for the bags, she reaches for his hand and they laugh at the joke only they know.
I’ve had those moments. But unlike the years of my youth, I want them back. As time escapes me I often wonder how and even as far as whom it will be. After some interesting experiences dating, I’ve decided to leave it all up to chance. Hope is a choice and someday I wish to relax from being anxious in public and focus only on the crowd there that matters, the one with the two of us.