Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Terrible T-Shirt Tear Stare

I looked to my right, and noticed her tear. My coworker had a tear in her shirt, and I couldn't stop staring. It was on her arm, and I was about to call her out on it, but she noticed it as well and told me to stop staring, with a smile on her face.

It looked like a wild animal had chased her down and got the better of her clothing. Like a squirrel, or other wild creature managed to rough her up, catching her, seemingly, when she least expected.

I smiled too. Not at her shirt, but at her smile. I felt like a little kid. The best kind of feeling. The best kind of friend, is one that you can re-live your childhood memories with.

A while ago, I wrote what I still consider, one of my best blog entries, on Platonic Cuddling. Actually, if you search "platonic cuddling" on google, my post is one of the first choices that pops up. The entire point of the post was that verbal communication is mostly a facade. It is superficial. It is what you want others to see, but it isn't the true you, because you are not words, you are a human being. And you are not your past, or the sum of your experiences, you are a person just trying to live life like everyone else. And mostly, the post was about showing love to people who are not your significant other, in a way that is nonsexual. To pay attention, not to a story being told, not to whom someone is trying to portray, but to the actual person for the persons sake. To pay attention to, what I call, the awareness within a person.

To quote myself:
"I also believe that if people cuddle more often in groups, we may care about each other more. Perhaps it is only when we feel each others warmth, when we look into each others eyes, and when we pay attention to the awareness within our friends, that we can really know the true value of a human life. Platonic cuddling may not be widely practiced, but used in this way, it has the power to prevent wars."

Why did we smile? It wasn't because the t-shirt was torn, and it most certainly was not flirting. Maybe I saw something in her that cannot be expressed in words. Maybe it was a kindness, or an innocence. Maybe it was because she noticed me noticing her torn t-shirt, and in taking notice, was aware that I was aware. This awareness of the awareness of others happens often in cuddling, but I have rarely seen it out of the context of cuddling. I have rarely seen it in young people. But it is very special in young people, and like cuddling, it should be highly sought after. Especially because when you're young, it's okay to be, easily ignored.

Am I losing touch? I used to have an ability to connect with people on a deeper level. But I find the frequency of connections on a decline. With some people the connection is always there, like with Donna. It is always the case, that when she is next to me, and I hold her, I notice her, and love her. I am comfortable with that. With a few other people it is always there too, like with my close friend, Noelle. I have never remembered having a conversation with Noelle where we didn't connect. And again, I am talking about a connection in a nonsexual way. It is more of a connection where the context of the conversation is irrelevant, and whatever actions taking place in the moment are irrelevant, and for a split second you notice that there is another person noticing the moment, and it usually results in an innocent smile. This can be very personal.

We often work so hard on our persona. Whether it be creating a tumblr where everyone can see out latest clothes, or where we tell stories of how we were hanging out with our significant others. How often can we convey our existence without the use of anecdotes, or by increasing our shadow on the world (by leaving a bigger footprint of ownership). I think that most people have never felt the awareness within others, and that is why they lie, and cheat, and why we vote for politicians, and have to create paper and coins that we value. It is all a facade. Because connections do not happen often, when they do happen, they are personal.

And so the stare, and smile, for now, were terrible. Too personal. Why am I an introvert? I have only recently become an introvert. Today I stared at a tear, but I let someone else stare at my soul. Who was the vulnerable one? Who was the one opening themselves up? And was the smile with me, or at me?

The only question I can answer is the one that I didn't need to talk about. Someone today told me I was lucky. They were telling the truth. I am lucky. It isn't everyday someone takes a moment to notice that there is a spiritual being inside of this physical body, and smile at it. Not everyday that someone looks past race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, and gives an honest, genuine smile. I am lucky, and I do not need you or anyone else to tell me why.

But it was also personal, and, terrible.