Friday, April 25, 2008

People are people, too

When I was about 5 years old, while riding in the car with my family, I had an epiphany of sorts as I gazed at all the cars on the freeway.

Everyone in all of those cars had entire lives separate from mine. All the stuff I'd experienced in my 5 long years on Earth -- they'd gone through that much stuff a few times over.

It's kind of obvious, I suppose, but as a little kid, trying to wrap my head around all the intrapersonal connection those number dictated, well it was weird.

Other people had other jobs and went to other schools, and lived in different places. I guess it was the first time I saw the world as a micro- and macrocosm, though I wouldn't learn those words for a while.

I think that's part of why I write. Once I realized that all the people were doing all sorts of things, I wondered exactly what it is they were doing. Even now, sometimes when I'm daydreaming--mostly on BART to or from work--I wonder what it is that brought these specific people on this specific car at this time. Where they're going; where they've been; why they seem oblivious to the concept of personal space.

Before too long, I'm writing a story in my head. Sometimes, it will give me an idea for something I want to write, but often it's just a mental exercise, I guess. Like doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku.

Sometimes I see people while walking around San Francisco that sets that process in motion. Yesterday, for example.

While my pal Karyne and I were walking down the street from work to get some lunch and fresh air, respectively, a woman walking the opposite way caught my eye.

Now for those of you reading this who are married to me, when I say she caught my eye, it wasn't in the "homina homina homina" kind of way where your eyes bug out of your head and your tongue unfurls to the ground before rolling back up like a classroom map of the world.

She was wearing casual business attire, for the most part; dark colors, nothing out of the ordinary. Except for the -- and I'm not exaggerating -- 4 inches of cleavage that bounded with each step.

Yes, I realize you're probably thinking that I walk around all day in a daze mumbling "boooooooobies" everywhere I go, but I assure you this is not the case. It wasn't titillating (sorry); I just wondered about the practicality. You know, like "Can that be comfortable with them all squooshed up like that?" or "What would happen if she took a deep breath?"

I'm not the gawking type, honest, but sincerely, it looked like she'd bolted someone's butt on her chest.

I thought to myself, hmm, I wonder what the story is behind that outfit?

Am I just being the stereotypical breast-obsessed straight guy? Is there an accepted cutoff point after which cleavage is considered excessive?

I mean, if it were me, I wouldn't get anything done all day because I'd be checking myself every few seconds to make sure I wasn't busting out (sorry again; can't help it). Maybe I'm just overly self-conscious; I try not to bound down stairs too energetically, lest my heaving manboobs display any untoward jiggling.

Help me out here, ladies. Is there a way she was oblivious to her appearance? I'm trying to keep abreast of things like this.