Once in awhile I do this thing when I’m sitting with people where I start to notice them a little bit more closely. I’ll wonder how they take their coffee in the morning or what they’re like when they’re really tired. I’ll think about how it is when they’re sad or the last time they felt genuine happiness. I picture what they look like when they’re just being themselves – at home in nothing spectacular, without any pressure to be someone really cool or great or interesting.
I don’t do this with everyone, obviously, but sometimes at a gas station or sitting on a park bench or at some random dinner with a mix of friends and strangers I’ll find myself with these thoughts. It’s not that I’m necessarily attracted to these people, I just think about what it must be like to know them on a different level – the kind of level you get to when you’re in a relationship with someone.
You know how it is when you wake up with someone and their eyes are sleepy, hair is messy, and they’re quiet in their movements perhaps wishing the day could start just a little bit later? I love that moment of vulnerability. I sort of think that’s when people are at their most beautiful.
When you start looking at people a little bit closer you realize how easy it could be to fall in love with them. People are really quite loveable if you give them a chance. Some people can be downright awful and miserable, this is true, but also maybe it’s situational misery. We don’t really know.
Find someone you absolutely can’t stand then talk to them in 6 months and see if you still don’t like them. Maybe you’ll find yourself realizing they’re not so bad. Maybe you’ll find out the last time you knew them they were going through some rough shit. Life is hard, ya know? People deserve more chances.
The other night I went out for drinks with a friend from college I hadn’t seen in ages. I’m not even sure I could say we were friends – more like acquaintances at best – Facebook friends, general supporters of each other’s creative work online. We’d had a class together years ago and that’s how we knew each other. Anyway, so we met up for drinks and it was the first time we had ever really hung out.
He was funny and smart and I just thought, damn why is this the first time I’m hanging out with this person? Sometimes you can know people for years but overlook an entire friendship simply because you were too busy with your life at the time. I thought about how many other potential friendships I might have overlooked in my life.
I guess what I’m trying to say is – it’s easy to see the good in people, in life, in every day moments if you pay a little bit more attention to the details. Life is mostly about falling in love but that’s the thing – you have to let yourself fall.