A little ray of sunshine
Standing on the train the other day, I saw a young businessman, white earphones in his ears, reading or watching something on his phone. It was either a long read or a short video, because I didn’t see much hand movement indicating scrolling of content on the screen. He didn’t have quite a stern look, or didn’t look serious, but his face was fairly nonchalant. I wasn’t observing him specifically, but it was impossible not to notice the smile that quickly emerged on his face.
It was almost a grin, but he didn’t grin wide enough to show teeth. He seemed to laugh gently, before his face returned to the state I initially saw it in, but with a subtle afterglow.
I know I do the same. I had no idea what this young man was reading or watching. I had no idea what he was feeling. But it was that sudden smile that radiated across his face that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Several times, I’ve caught myself suddenly laughing, or simply grinning, at something I have read on my phone, or in a book. A fiction novel might not give so much away, because it’s a medium that encourages your imagination to work a little bit more. Nonetheless, the valuable experience one has with a book can be highlighted by their finger tracing over the paragraphs of the page as they read, suddenly flipping pages as they read a bit faster, probably aiming to reach the end of the chapter just before the train reaches their stop.
On a phone, something as simple as a text message from a loved one can make someone smile. Had they been having a bad morning, or a bad day, just a message would cheer them up. You can see someone smile at a message on their phone without even knowing the content of the message.
It doesn’t matter what it is, but seeing the transition from concentrating, being content, or neutral, to completely smiling, watching someone’s shoulders relax, their eyes light up — is witnessing someone’s day being made, and you don’t get to see that every day.
I don’t ever really pay attention to people that way. I don’t like to look at people for a variety of reasons, only puppies (always puppies) and sometimes babies. I like dog-watching more than people-watching, because dogs… well, I think they can really teach a person things, you know? It doesn’t take much to make a dog happy, but when they are happy, WOW do they explode. It gives me a lot of feelings. /wah
I haven’t been here in a while!!! But I was just looking at some of my fanlistings and then I got to looking at yours through clicking affiliate links (as I ADORE your work!), and I found myself at your blog again :)
Loved what you described, I could picture it very clearly. I’m sure I’ve seen something similiar, but I can’t remember one exact moment. I’ll pay more attention next time. But I myself, do this constantly when I’m on the bus. Whether I’m reading, or if I’m browsing Facebook in the morning before work. I’ll crack a random smile, or giggle a bit. And I wonder if the person next to me or across from me is wondering what you were wondering about the guy you saw. What made her smile/laugh?
It’s like you are sort of invited to someone’s private world for a moment, seeing a stranger smile that they think nobody has noticed.
Just one more comment – the pic that is associated with my name/email etc, is SO OLD now! I have really long hair now and my glasses are different. I think that’s from 2010 or 2011? I don’t remember how to change it haha. Oh well :P
Hahahaah, you should be able to go to Gravatar.com and change it if you remember your login details. :)