Wednesday, 8 August 2007

People watching

I generally arrive early to work, well before I need to but far from being the first in. During the summer I can usually park fairly close to the building where I have my office, but at most other times I find myself in one of the far flung outer car parks, so I have to pick my way around and through other parking places.

The first set of people I watch (out of my peripheral vision so as not to be seen watching) are ones I see every morning sitting in their cars, apparently listening to the radio, occasionally reading. Today there was someone eating her breakfast. Why ever don’t they go into the office?

There are the ones who will go up and down each rank to make sure there are no empty spaces a little nearer to the path out. I dare say they think I’m odd too. If I’m expecting sunshine, I park where I know the car will be in the shade for a couple of hours before I leave, which sometimes means I’m all by myself and well away from the shortest walking distance crowd.

Then there’s the man who has a sleep every lunchtime in his car. I would find that odd enough if he parked in the midst of a large number of other cars with nobody walking past, but he chooses one of the very small number of spaces outside the library where there is a constant flow of people going past. Odd that he can’t get through the day without a sleep, more odd that he chooses such a public spot.

Today a man and a woman met and stopped to talk. Clearly there was an attraction between them. There was a little dance going on with one swaying towards the other, and back, then the other would sway. One would turn away slightly, the other would move around to be facing again. They would move a few steps in one direction, stop and resume swaying.

Then very suddenly there was a downpur, so heavy the raindrops were bouncing. Everyone started to sprint for cover, except for one security guard. He was tough. He swaggered along at his usual deliberate pace getting soaked to the skin.

I love it. It’s a good thing I have no view from my office window.

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